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Football participation reaches record levels

Football participation reaches record levels
February 22, 2019

Football Federation Australia has advised that its annual football census shows more than 1.8 million Australians participating in football, an increase of 13% on the previous year.

The census, which takes in affiliated football participation shows a significant increase across all areas of the game including futsal, school participation and a continued rise in the number of female participants.

Commenting on the numbers, FFA Chief Executive David Gallop stated “our women and girls participation base continued to increase and provide one of the greatest growth opportunities for Football. International tournaments including the 2018 AFC Asian Cup, Women’s Cup of Nations and rebel Female Football Week have played a key role in driving new women and girls to our game, now boasting over 141,000 registered participants.”

Praising Member Federations across Australia, Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs for their work in encouraging participation in the game, Gallop added “our football clubs across the country are filled with volunteers that keep putting in countless hours to ensure football continues to flourish.

The results of the annual census come after FFA conducted an audit of facilities with Member Federations which identified a $500 million facilities funding gap.

The Everybody’s Game audit found football is being held back by inadequate facilities and in many areas across Australia, the sport has outgrown the facilities available to participants.

Gallop continued “we are calling on government to join with us to deliver improved facilities and programs which can help improve participation even further, drive gender equality, integrate new communities and deliver strong preventative health outcomes.”

Head of Community, Women’s Football and Football Development, Emma Highwood said the new data on participation reveals football continues to attract, engage and retain more participants community clubs.

Highwood stated “the efforts and investment from our volunteers, coaches and referees ensure we provide participants with a positive experience, which is highlighted by a 72% participant retention rate.

“ALDI MiniRoos continues to be our marquee program and the leading junior introductory program within Australia, with over 227,000 boys and girls playing.

“Further, we have increasingly leveraged our games greatest assets; the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League Clubs, to engage and connect with new markets. This is reflected with over 14% growth in school participation, community events and promotional experiences delivered by the clubs, as we focus on converting our football participation base into fans.”

Highwood said Football Federation Australia would continue to invest in opportunities to ensure football remains a diverse and inclusive game for all Australians through programs and tournaments specifically for CaLD communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and all-ability participants.

2018 Football participation highlights:

• 13% overall growth on 2017 participation
• 1.5% growth in outdoor affiliated participation
• 2% growth in Women & Girls participation
• 2% growth in ALDI MiniRoos
• 30% growth in other formats including Futsal and Social Football
• 11% growth in Schools participants including School programs and tournaments

In 2016, the AFL released extravagent figures indicating more than 3.2 million Australians participated in Australian rules football in 2015.

Click here to download the FFA 2018 National Participation Report.

Related Articles

19th February 2019 - Lack of sporting fields sees young footballers turned away from junior clubs

14th February 2019 - Western Australian parents urged to stay silent on the sidelines at junior sport

31st January 2019 - FFA Deputy Chair Heather Reid takes indefinite leave to undergo chemotherapy

28th January 2019 - FFA to roll out walking football across Australia

18th December 2018 - Football Federation Australia launches pre World Cup women’s tournament

14th December 2018 - FFA approves A-League expansion bids from Western Melbourne and South-West Sydney

20th November 2018 - Chris Nikou elected as FFA’s new chairman

11th November 2018 - Australia recognised as benchmark for grassroots football across Asia

1st November 2018 - Community impact of football in NSW to reach $1 billion by 2025

17th September 2018 - FFA looks to introduce new A-League fan engagement initiatives

5th September 2018 - FFA to review policy governing ethnic heritage of clubs

28th August 2018 - FFA promotes former Matilda to participation management role

17th November 2017 - New AusPlay figures show football leads sport participation rates in Australia

8th December 2016 - Landmark study finds sport struggling to keep youth engaged

4th January 2016 - AFL claims massive growth in participation in 2015

8th December 2015 - FFA survey shows boom in football participation


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