Swimming

Looking for something low impact that’s still a great workout? Then it’s time to make a splash in your local swimming pool. If it’s your first time, don’t stress – there are plenty of adult swimming lessons in Victoria that will have you feeling confident in no time.

Splash into swimming for some refreshing time to yourself, to get active with a friend, or to  do some laps with a social women’s swimming group.

On this page we look at:

  • This Girl Can Ambassadors Karen and Michelle’s stories about finding a place to be themselves in the swimming pool
  • How to get started with adult swimming lessons for women – at any age
  • Finding women’s only pools near you

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For Karen, the swimming pool has become a sanctuary

It wasn’t until after Karen lost her leg at age 17 that she discovered her love of swimming. The world underwater became her sanctuary from people staring at her missing leg, and she loves immersing herself: “I don’t just love swimming in the water, I love jumping into it, diving into it, staying underwater…I like pretending I’m in another world.”



Learn to swim at any age, and find women’s swimming lessons near you

You can learn to swim at any age, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never jumped in the water before! There’s a local swimming community that’s waiting for you to get involved.

If you’re a beginner, there are a range of swimming lessons for adults near you in Melbourne and regional Victoria. All that matters is you’re up for giving it a try.

Most swimming pools and facilities in the state have swimming lessons. They’re also a great resource to find social swimming groups for women you can join to make some new friends while you learn how to swim.

Try YMCA Victoria to search for a local swimming pool in your area.

Women’s only swimming pools and sessions

Want to start swimming in a comfortable and welcoming environment? There are multiple women’s only swimming sessions held at pools around Victoria, as well as female only swimming classes. It’s a great way to get involved if you want to start swimming for the first time.

Search online for your local swimming pool to see if they offer women only swimming sessions. You can also try your local council, which will often promote women only sessions and events you can join.

Michelle found support and community with swimming

Michelle, 64, says she’s addicted to how exercise makes her feel. It’s helped her transition from a man into a woman. When her hormone treatment began, she put on weight – but despite worrying about what she looked like in swimmers, she hit the pool. And the self-proclaimed “grandma boogie-boarder” was amazed by the support she got.

How to make your move and have a go at swimming

  • Visit the website mentioned on this page: YMCA Victoria.
  • Google it! There are many swimming for beginners classes for adults, as well as ladies only swimming pool sessions near you. Have a look online to find one you might like to try.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a swimming group has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about swimming – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

Whether you can’t make it outside at the moment or the weather is getting in the way, there are other ways to get some movement in your day at home.

You can access Get Active @ Home for some easy, low-impact exercise routines to follow along with when it suits you in the day. You can also have a look around at online videos to see what sport or activity you feel like trying next.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

There are many other activities you can have a shot at to get more movement in your day. Here are a few ideas if you feel like trying something new.

Netball

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played netball before or you’re returning to the sport after a break. There’s a way for all shapes, abilities and interest levels to have a go and enjoy a game that’s loved by so many. Join a women’s netball club, play social netball for fun, or shoot some goals with a friend or by yourself. The choice is yours!

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Kelly found time to ‘recharge her batteries’ at netball to set a good example for her kids
  • Playing casual games through Rock Up Netball
  • What clubs and competitions are available?
  • Netball’s programs catering to different abilities and backgrounds
  • How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Sally overcame self-doubt and started playing in her fifties
  • Finding a women’s netball club or social game near you
  • Can’t get out right now? At-home tips

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

How Kelly found time to ‘recharge her batteries’ at netball to set a good example for her kids

Kelly says playing netball is “like charging your batteries”, and afterwards she feels like she can do anything. As a mum, it was important to Kelly to set an example: “I think it’s important even to my kids to set an example that you still need to do something for yourself”… “After you have kids, things change. Your body changes and your family becomes the priority. But as I get older, I have realised the importance of self-love.”



Pay as you play with Rock Up Netball, with fun social games happening all around Victoria

Don’t want to commit to a whole season of sport? Rock Up Netball, developed by Netball Victoria, is a ‘pay as you play’ option for those of us who can’t commit to regular games. Rock Up Netball is great for  women and girls of all skill levels and is all about having fun! It’s casual, a great way to try all of the netball positions and learn the netball ropes or return after a break.

What clubs and competitions are available?

With so many programs and pathways on offer, the hardest part of giving netball a go is choosing from the options you can try. Even if you’re starting to play netball as a beginner for the first time.

Here’s how to find netball teams in Melbourne and regional areas to join, or find a social netball competition near you.

Firstly, Netball Victoria provides lots of information and is a great first step to play netball in Melbourne or regional Victoria, regardless of your age, background, or skill level.

With so many social netball competitions around the state, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. Each competition is different, but you can usually join an existing team or even start your own. The best way to find a place to play social netball near you is to search online and contact the relevant facility or association looking after the competition for more details. They’re very friendly, and love helping new players.

Netball is a game for women of all backgrounds, ages, cultures and abilities

Netball is an inclusive sport that has programs catering to different abilities and backgrounds. The sport  has a focus on being inclusive, and there are welcoming communities everywhere that will help you to feel comfortable and have fun playing the game (even if it’s your first time).

Netball Victoria runs specialised clinics for Victorians with disability. They focus on building knowledge and skills for netball in an inclusive and supportive environment.

There are also initiatives to increase participation and inclusion for Aboriginal Victorians, women from other cultures and LGBTI+ communities.

Whoever you are, there’s a netball group and a position on the court with your name on it!

How Sally ignored those who told her she was “too old” and got back into netball in her 50s

Sally has always loved netball and she played regularly until she had kids. At 54, she plays despite being told she’s “too old”. Before her first session back, she doubted herself so much she changed in and out of her exercise gear twice before finally stepping onto the court! Now Sally aims to keep playing netball the rest of her life.

Finding a women’s netball club or social game near you

  • Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Netball Victoria, Rock Up Netball, specialised clinics (for Victorians who live with a disability), netball for Aboriginal Victorians or netball for LGBTI+ communities.
  • Google it! Search to see what other netball options there are near you.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood: see if there’s a netball club near you that has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

Sometimes you aren’t able to get out to hit up the courts or join a women’s netball club or community. But that’s ok, there’s plenty to keep you busy if you’re at home.

If you have a netball, you have a workout! You can always throw a netball around by yourself, with a friend, or with the kids inside or in your backyard if you have one. Get creative – all that matters is you’re getting some movement in your day so you feel good.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

You may also want to look at some other sports you can try to get moving in a way that you enjoy. Take some time out for yourself like Kelly and Sally and try something new to see what you like to play.

Soccer

Soccer is the world’s game, and it’s a great way to get active, have a lot of fun and make new friends as part of a team.

You don’t have to be the next Sam Kerr or want to play for the Matildas (Australia women’s national soccer team), to make soccer your new sport. Whatever your age, ability or background is, there are a range of women’s soccer groups and programs all over the state, just waiting to welcome you into their community.

On this page we look at:

  • How his Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Emine found confidence and community with social soccer, which includes a bit of dancing!
  • Women’s soccer information
  • Futsal and walking football
  • Try soccer as a beginner or after a break through ‘Soccer Mums’
  • How Jaime got back into soccer after having a baby
  • How to find a welcoming soccer club for women and girls
  • Can’t get out right now? At-home tips

Get inspired to do the activities that suit you and keep you feeling good: sign up to our newsletter here.

How Emine found confidence and community with social soccer, which includes a bit of dancing!

After a nervous beginning, soccer has become the cornerstone of Emine’s life, but her team doesn’t just play soccer – they dance! “I felt nervous, and it was kind of scary because you don’t know anything. I haven’t played football and I wasn’t fit, that’s why it was scary because I didn’t know if I was able to play,” she explained. Emine has gone from emigrating from Turkey with no friends, to being part of a women’s social soccer community in Melbourne that meets for breakfast before they play – both parents and kids! “We dance to warm up, and we dance at the end,” she laughed, “we always lose but we dance, we’re always dancing.”

Women’s soccer information

Does soccer sound like the game for you? Here’s where to find more information on having a go.

Football Victoria provides a range of resources to get started playing women’s soccer in Melbourne and regional Victoria. There’s a number of different forms of soccer for women to play, so you can choose to play at the skill level and speed you’re comfortable with.

Visit Play Football to find a women’s soccer club in Melbourne or regional Victoria near you.

Local women’s soccer clubs offer a range of programs, soccer classes and women’s social soccer team competitions, so it’s easy to get involved and learn the game as a beginner. You can be any age, have any ability level and background. All that matters is you’re willing to give it a try!

Two women playing soccer on a field

Futsal and walking football for women

Made famous in the streets of Brazil, futsal is a fun indoor soccer game that’s played with 5-a-side and a smaller ball.

Futsal is also very social, making it a great way to make new friends and enjoying being part of a team. It’s a great way to learn soccer for women and girls, and a form of the game many women are already playing and loving. Learn more about playing Futsal in Melbourne.

If you like the idea of playing soccer but don’t have a need for speed, Walking Football was designed just for you! It’s a low-impact game that’s been modified to a walking pace – making it perfect for all abilities and fitness, as well as those returning to being active after a break.

Two women playing soccer

Football Victoria runs several walking football programs in partnership with Active Ageing Australia. It’s safe, fun and provides a social environment for women to discover or play a game they enjoy.

Try soccer as a beginner or after a break with Soccer Mums

Are you a mum who never got to try your hand … err … foot at soccer? GO Soccer Mums is here to get you in the game!

Designed for mums but open to women of all ages, this fun, social women’s soccer program will teach you how to play soccer with the basics, regardless of your skill level.

Alternatively, kick the ball around by yourself or with a friend at your local park. Some parks even have a dedicated soccer pitch.

How Jaime got back into soccer after having a baby

Jaime always loved to play soccer, having played since she was ten. But with the birth of her son, her body changed and so did her confidence in her skills. Jaime worried about her “mum belly” jiggling and was scared she couldn’t kick anymore. It was harder than she thought, but today she’s reconnected with her favourite game.

How to find a welcoming soccer club for women and girls

Can’t get out right now?

If you’re not able to make it outside or join a women’s soccer community right now, there are other ways you can get started.

Why not grab a soccer ball and start practicing at home? There are many videos online you can find to start learning some of the basics. Make sure you contact a local women’s soccer club in Melbourne too, as they may have social (or online social) events where you can start meeting some new teammates.

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

You may also want to look at some other sports you can try to get moving in a way that you enjoy. Here are a few similar sports you can have a go at that you might also enjoy.