Base FC creator Steph Mills has been playing competitive football since the age of 5 in the UK and has now started a new academy for the sport in Airlie Beach. Photo: Contributed
Base FC creator Steph Mills has been playing competitive football since the age of 5 in the UK and has now started a new academy for the sport in Airlie Beach. Photo: Contributed

Lifelong footballer starts new academy for budding players

A grassroots football program is kicking off in the Whitsundays run by an experienced player who has pulled on the boots in both the UK and Australia.

Steph Mills has played competitive football since the age of five and now she has launched Base FC Academy to help young players hone their skills.

The program was designed by experienced football coaches and educators for children aged two to 11.

Ms Mills played football at premiership reserve level in the UK, has claimed four league titles in two years with Mackay City Lions and won the Golden Boot Award in 2020.

She said she enjoys running onto the field because it allows her to forge connections with others.

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"What I mostly love about the game is the teammates who become family along the way and the feeling of accomplishment when hard work and dedicated training leads to victories," she said.

Ms Mills said the idea for the academy grew from her inherent passion for sports education and she wanted children to be able to participate in sport without committing to weekly travel.

"I'm thrilled the whole project has come together, it has been something I have endeavoured to set up since stepping foot in the Whitsundays," she said.

"It's been so exciting watching what was only an idea I had stemming, from what I noticed as a gap in the market, come to full fruition."

Jack Hamblin hones his skills with the new Base FC Academy in Airlie Beach. Photo: Contributed
Jack Hamblin hones his skills with the new Base FC Academy in Airlie Beach. Photo: Contributed

Ms Mills plans to build more than just football skills through the new academy.

"Through the context of football, they have interwoven and interrelated age-specific areas of development such as physical, social, emotional, cognitive, communication, receptive awareness and linguistic aspects into every class," she said.

Base FC Academy operates out of BASE 51 Functional Fitness in Cannonvale on the AstroTurf and all children receive customised gear including a jersey and shorts.

Bookings are now being taken for Term 2 classes, for more information visit the Base FC Academy website here.


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