Coding bootcamps Coder Factory and Node Girls have teamed up with Football Australia

Ellyse Perry and Trudy Camilleri of Sydney go for the ball during the round five W-League match between Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Computer programming training houses Coder Factory and Node Girls have teamed up with an unlikely ally – Australian soccer’s governing body, Football Federation Australia.

The three organisations have announced a three-day hackathon next month to use technology to boost and enhance female participation in the sport.

“This event is all about empowering girls to realise their potential – and what better way to facilitate that process than through football?” said Football Federation Australia head of community Emma Highwood.

The event will challenge participants to come up with technology solutions that either aid female participation in soccer as a player, coach, referee or volunteer; or help more fans engage with the Westfield W-League, the highest level of women’s soccer in the country.

Participants can include coders, product managers, user experience designers and other experts, with the event encouraging the use of cutting-edge tech such as live video, wearables, virtual or augmented reality or artificial intelligence.

The teams will demonstrate their solution at the end of the hackathon in front of a panel of judges. Prizes are up for grabs for the best teams — although Coder Factory did not disclose what they were – and the solutions have a chance to be developed further into a real product.

“Playing football and participating in this hackathon share something in common. They both involve high speed problem solving to achieve an end goal,” Highwood said.

This is not the first-time Coder Factory Academy, best known for its “bootcamp” coding classes, has worked with a high-profile organisation. In November, Business Insider revealed that it had been working with the United Nations’ ICT agency to mobilise tech talent in the Philippines, while Coder Factory co-founder Dan Siepen was named number 53 on the Business Insider Australia Tech 100.

Node Girls runs free half-day coding bootcamps around the country for women, non-binary and trans-people.

Nominations for the hackathon are free but close on March 9, with the selected participants announced on March 10. The event will be held March 17 to 19 in Sydney at Coder Factory Academy’s offices.

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