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AFL Victoria records participation rise through 2012

AFL Victoria records participation rise through 2012
December 18, 2012

Australian Football achieved record participation numbers in Victoria in 2012 with AFL Victoria figures showingg an increase of almost 6% in overall participation in Victoria over the last year, with over 241,000 people now playing the game.

The growth has been achieved in many areas; the most significant being Auskick, female football, school programs and the newest version of the game, Cadbury AFL9s.

Explaining the rise AFL Victoria General Manager Grant Williams stated "AFL Victoria is pleased to see the growth of Australian Football across all forms of the game, with over 241,000 participants now taking part in the game across the state.

"A pleasing aspect of the recent figures is to see the growth in our new social form of the game, AFL 9s, as well as an increase in the number of Auskick participants which is the introduction for many kids and families to our great game of Australian Football."

The NAB Auskick Program saw 2,583 new participants joining up in 2012. This figure reflects the growth of the game at the earliest level, with the increase spread equally across country and metropolitan regions.

Cadbury AFL9s, the AFL's newest version of the game, has seen vast numbers show interest by registering for the 2012 Summer Season. In its infancy, the social competitions have had 2,150 new participants become involved, showing the growing popularity of this version of the game.

Williams adds "AFL 9s enables people of all ages and ability levels to participate in male, female or mixed competitions that fit around their busy lives and provides a social and fitness outlet."

Females are taking up the game at record rates with almost 11,000 females now participating in Australian Football within Victoria, an increase of almost 11% from 2011.

Here Williams states "the continued integration of female football competitions within community football leagues, particularly at junior level, is creating more opportunities for females to play the game and they are clearly voting with their feet."

AFL Victoria has also recorded an increase of almost 18% in school participation throughout the State.

Williams states "this statistic is a great result given we have seen a boost of over 250 Coles AFL School Ambassadors across Primary and Secondary levels in 2012.

"It means 63% of Victorian Schools now have a teacher that actively promotes the development of the game within their school through the use of participation activities, competitions, and educational resources."

Early indicators predict further participation growth in 2013, with two new clubs recently being formed in the growth areas in the west of Melbourne. The clubs - Manor Lakes and Sanctuary Lakes Football Clubs have developed as a result of a partnership between AFL Victoria, City of Wyndham and the

Western Region Football League, with both clubs likely to field several junior and senior teams in their first year. These represent just two examples of how the game is continuing to grow and provide participation opportunities in new communities.

These figures add to the incredible scale of Australian Football within its traditional heartland of Victoria. Each weekend over 3,000 games are being played, which includes 1,100 clubs, 77,000 volunteers, more than 6,000 umpires and over 10,600 accredited coaches; highlighting how Australian Football continues to go from strength to strength.

Williams paid tribute to the volunteers who contribute so generously to football across the state, who do not form part of the statistics when looking at participation, concluding "without these volunteers who are the heart and soul of our sport, the participation growth that we are achieving would not have been possible.

"We thank them for their ongoing contribution to our great game."

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