GO GIRLS: NSW Country celebrate after scoring their opening goal of the Westfield National Youth Championships on Monday.
GO GIRLS: NSW Country celebrate after scoring their opening goal of the Westfield National Youth Championships on Monday. Sam Flanagan

Mayor praises females for breaking through the glass ceiling

FOOTBALL: "We're here, we're bloody good at what we do and it's time to be recognised.”

Mayor Denise Knight didn't mince her words at the opening of the Westfield National Youth Championships this week.

Speaking in front of parents, coaches and players at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Knight said female football in this country had come a long way in 10 years and the trend would be continuing because of the talented teens sitting in front of her.

"We've seen the Matildas be unbeaten, we've seen them play fair and we've seen them play with integrity and that's what this sport is all about,” Knight said.

Denise Knight.
Mayor Denise Knight speaks at the opening of the National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour. Sam Flanagan

More than 330 players are taking part in the tournament across the 14 and 15 years divisions.

North Coast Football is also well represented, with Tahliya Sambrook (Korara), Alice Webster (Karangi), Lilli Hallawell (Emerald Beach), Ella Bhatti (Woolgoolga), Emily Knott (Woolgoolga), Aheisha McPhillips (Corindi Beach) and Olissa Onley (Sapphire Beach) all suiting up for the Northern NSW sides.

MP Gurmesh Singh also gave the visiting teams a warm welcome to the Coffs Coast at the opening ceremony.

"It's great to be here today to recognise the talents of young footballers who have come from right across the country,” Singh said.

"I hope you make the most of your stay here. Get out and see the rainforests, see the marine park and go to the Big Banana and get a selfie in front of it.”

Singh also jokingly thanked the ACT team for bringing the cool weather.

The two Northern NSW sides won their opening games of the tournament yesterday ahead of their day two games today.