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Western Wows on Gala Day with The United Football Program

Western United The United Football Program

Western United successfully hosted its inaugural pre-season junior football gala day this weekend as part of The United Football Program (TUFP).

Point Cook Soccer Club played host to over 68 teams and 600 participants from Under 7’s to Under 13’s with competitions for girls, boys and mixed groups all taking place.

TUFP has been operational for nearly a year, bringing football programs to communities in the West. Through school holiday camps, clinics, and the gala day, TUFP has been able to donate over $40,000 back to the community through its partner clubs. 

David Clarkson, Western United Community Football Ambassador, was thrilled at the turn out. 

“We’ve had 14 different clubs from across the West participate. 68 teams, that’s over 600 players we’ve had come through Point Cook, which is a tremendous turn out,” said Clarkson.

“Football is such a common language for a lot of these kids, we’ve got new Australians here and to see them here today is wonderful. For a lot of participants, English is not their first language, so Western United through The United Football Program – we’re a vehicle for them to become part of the community.”

Out of the 68 teams that participated on the day, 25 were female-only teams. Liberty A-League player Tiana Jaber was particularly thrilled to see so many young girls out enjoying the day.

“It would have meant so much to me as a young kid (to have something like this), it still does for me now at this age as well,” Jaber said.

“When I was young, I played in a mixed team which could have been uncomfortable for some girls. But seeing all girl-only groups here, it’s so nice. There’s just nothing better for them.

“We’ve got the World Cup coming up, we’re into finals, everyone’s getting around each other and supporting each other. I just hope it brings more girls into the sport.”

For more information on The United Football Program click here.