With training and competition suspended at present, the club is keeping in touch with members through its Facebook group Falcons Family and team emails.
The club’s Teams App is also loading up drills and skills that players can do in isolation to keep fit and build their skills.
Before lockdown, in the July school holidays, the club’s Falcons Academy ran footy clinics for girls.
The clinics were coached by AFLW players Aasta O’Connor from the Geelong Cats and Jess Dal Pos from the GWS Giants.
Both women earned their stripes playing football for the Darebin Falcons before being drafted to the AFLW, and both love being able to give something back to the club.
“The club will always hold a special place in my heart,” says Aasta. “You want to come back and be involved.”
“It’s run by women for women - you’re not third or fourth in line. There’s no barrier to entry for anyone who wants to play.”
Jess echoes that sentiment.
“It’s huge,” she says. “To be able to offer them that little bit extra, raise their football skills, and inspire them by being a role model – I’m loving it!”
The junior session featured around 30 girls from six to 14 years of age with a wide range of skills, while girls up to 17 years participated in a later session for older players
Abbey is playing her first year after Auskick and said her favourite part of the game was kicking.
Belle was in her second year and working hard at improving her marking.
Alexandra was inspired by her family friend and Bulldogs AFLW player Nicole Callinan, another Falcon veteran, to take up the game and she really loves tackling and kicking.
Poppy was a veteran of the session having notched up four years of play. She said she was initially nervous about the physicality of the game, but once she started playing, she was hooked. She also loves the social aspect of team sports.
The Darebin Womens Sports Club is celebrating its 30 anniversary this year and has become the benchmark for developing female sport in football, soccer, cricket and eight ball with more than 700 members and fielding teams from junior to masters level.
Since the AFLW was established in 2017, more than 20 players and four coaches have been recruited from the Falcons fold.
The Club established the Falcons Academy in 2018, with the Victorian Government this year investing $150,000 to support the Academy as part of a three-year program to support female sports participation at the club. The investment is helping provide uniforms, equipment, training and online training content.
The Academy is a fun, skills-based opportunity for girls to improve their football knowledge and skills under the guidance of some of the most experienced leaders in the club. It’s open to all girls in the community, not just members.
It aims to promote participation and inclusion of under-represented groups including Aboriginal Victorians, LGBTQI communities, people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and those with a low socio-economic status.
It also looks to nurture and support leadership and coaching pathways for women in sport, and support women to develop sustainable careers in football.
The club is hoping to run another Falcons Academy workshop in the next schools holidays, and anyone interested in attending is welcome to register their interest at the Falcons Academy