Like most clubs, North Melbourne has a big focus on educating its players off the field and making sure they are ready for life after football. Andrew Swallow and Jamie Macmillan are studying finance while others have undertaken business degrees and even real-estate courses.  

However, the club doesn’t just support its players with those in the local community also receiving a helping hand thanks to The Huddle and Inspire.  For the second consecutive year, Inspire scholarships have been awarded to young women in need of educational support.

Sumia Hadi and Amy Nguyen study in The Huddle and on Thursday night, they were handed $500 grants at a special function.

For Hadi, the money will help buy books next year as she begins Year 12.

“I am one of three children and my mum is single and unemployed,” she explained.

“Having this money would take some of the financial burden away from my mum and help me buy the books that I need to get through my studies.”

Originally from Iraq, Hadi has a heavier burden than most having to juggle caring for her younger siblings with VCE.

“I am interested in becoming a social worker because I have had many different life experiences and am able to understand people and sympathise with their different emotional situations.”

For Nguyen, the Inspire scholarship will help her realise a life-long dream to become a physiotherapist.

“I would often see my mum walking around the house holding her back in pain due to all the laborious housework that was required to be done every day,” she said.

“Upon seeing my mum like this, I felt so sad that my mum could not be at her optimal health…At the end of each day I too, would hurry into my mum’s room and massage her back using as many different techniques as possible so that her pain could quickly be relieved.

“It is for this reason that I would love to become a physiotherapist.”

Nguyen visits The Huddle for help with her maths and she’s already done a little calculating for her future business.

“I will charge very little fees so that everyone despite any barriers such as money, race, age and gender can always have the chance to receive treatments and support when they need it most.”

For the Inspire judging committee, narrowing down the applications to just two is difficult.

“I can’t even begin to imagine not being able to afford school books, or to have my parents go without food so that I could study,” President of Inspire Peita Elkhorne said.

“These girls are capable of great things, they just need a helping hand and we’re delighted to be able to join with The Huddle to offer this to them.”

To join Inspire, North’s exclusive women’s networking group, email