There were 130 girls under 12 and 13-year-old, who will commence a 12-week elite training program, at the SCG receiving their kits.

“This is really exciting for our football club to be able to welcome our first intake of young female athletes,” Sydney Swans CEO and Managing Director Andrew Ireland said.

“Our Youth Girls Program aims to strengthen female participation and provide a pathway for female footballers – and certainly we hope to see some of these girls running out in a Sydney Swans AFLW team in the future,” he said.

The program will be coached by Mark Richardson, who also coaches junior football at the Manly Bombers.

They will also be guided by several mentors including former Olympians Melinda Gainsford-Taylor and Nicola “Ziggy” Zagame.

“Our first intake of girls will continue along a talent pathway through to under 18s with the program set to grow each year as further age groups are added,” General Manager of the Sydney Swans Academy Chris said.

“The Academy provides tailored programs to help develop high-level skills and will also teach the girls about the importance of maintaining health, nutrition and a balanced lifestyle,” he added.