Sunshine Coast Lightning Confident Girls Clinic creates lasting change for Chelsea

For Chelsea Hancock, the idea of going to a sports clinic was daunting. As a shy year nine student she had decided early on that team sports were a no-go for her. But with the tempting opportunity of missing out on her English class, she went along to the Sunshine Coast Lightning Indigenous Clinic.


The program was offered to 30 Indigenous girls from around Caloundra, where they had the opportunity to learn from Lightning players, Laura Langman, Laura Scherian and Cara Koenen.


Chelsea’s mum Sandi said “I think her first response to me telling her about the clinic was ‘is there anyone else going I might know? Can I take a friend?’. I’m glad I could convince her to go though! She is a gorgeous kid but shy and she really lacks confidence in herself.”


“But in the end she absolutely loved the clinic! She came home so excited about playing with the ‘Lightning girls’ – which, to be honest, we hadn’t known about prior to that. She enjoyed the drills and learning about the game but what I noticed most was how differently she held herself. Since then, she refers to the Lightning team as ‘the netball celebrities’ and has started talking about joining a netball team.”


“I think the highlight for her though was attending the live game at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She had never been to a live game of any sort and was so taken by the atmosphere, the game and especially the fact that the girls playing, were the same ones that had given her so much time and confidence a few weeks prior. It meant something personal to her because she knew the ‘celebrities’ on the court.”


“The best bit about all of this from my perspective was seeing the lasting impacts for Chelsea. As her mum, I’ve really noticed how she has changed.”


“When she came home from the Lightning game, she went out to play in the street with the neighbour’s kids. She got a ball and organised them all into a mini game of netball! It was just brilliant to watch! I don’t think that’s something she would have felt comfortable doing before this experience.”


“I’ve also promised her she can join a netball team next season and we’re both excited for that. As a shy girl who has never done a team sport before, I’m stoked at the difference in her perspective this experience has meant for her. We’re so thankful to have been a part of such an amazing program.”


To help support the continuation of the Sunshine Coast Lightning Confident Girls program, participate in our Play for Purpose Christmas Appeal. For one-day-only, on Sunday 1st December 2019, all raffle tickets bought through the Confident Girls Foundation Play for Purpose website, will not only raise much needed funds for programs such as these, but also put you in the draw to win a $500 Wish Gift Card!


To purchase your raffle tickets and support girls like Chelsea, head to: