Inaugural festival brings sports stars to Lake Mac


Women’s sport will be in the spotlight this weekend when hundreds attend an inaugural festival at Lake Macquarie.

Headlined by local sports stars Rhiannan Iffland and Sam Poolman, the Lake Mac Women’s Sport Festival aims to break down barriers for women and girls who are unsure about playing sports.

Iffland says it’s a chance for her to return to her roots after traveling the world mastering the art of cliff diving.

“I am an incredibly proud Novocastrian,” said the world champion.

“Growing up at Lake Macquarie gave me so many great opportunities, some of which I never thought would help me so much in my career today.

“The sense of community I felt in the sports of trampoline and diving is something I will always be extremely grateful for.”

Iffland will join fellow sports stars Poolman (netball), Kerri Pottharst (beach volleyball), Katie Kelly (triathlon), Oenene Wood (cycling) and Peri Roberts (kitesurfing) to share their thoughts, ideas, wisdom and skills throughout the weekend.

Held at venues within the Charlestown Sports Precinct, the festival includes two “Lunch with the Sports Stars” events on Friday and Saturday, a Sports Open House on Sunday, a Netball Masterclass with Poolman and a variety demonstration games for children to try new sports. .

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the festival will highlight the benefits the sport can have.

“Thinking back to my own experience as a young girl growing up in the NSW country, there were so few sporting options available,” she said.

“It’s heartening to see the myriad new avenues opening up for women in sport, whether it’s traditional women’s sports like netball or historically male-dominated disciplines like rugby league.”

Iffland believes that sport can teach children valuable life lessons and build confidence and self-esteem.

“I strongly believe in having venues and sports groups that kind of create a safe haven for young women and girls to connect and grow with other like-minded people,” she said.

“It can offer a sense of community like no other. I have seen with my own eyes how this can provide opportunities for young women to reach their full potential on and off the sports field.

The Sunday Sports Open House is free for children 16 and under and $12 for adults.

The event includes sports sessions and clinics, masterclasses with sports stars, roving entertainment, food stalls and live music from local bands, headlined by emerging folk-pop group Little Quirks .

Tickets for Saturday’s Lunch With the Sports Stars session are $20 and include lunch, an event pack and afternoon tea.

All events are open to boys and girls. Go to for more information on the Lake Mac Women’s Sport Festival.

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