AFL Southern NSW release strong growth figures for 2017

GROWTH AREA: Wagga Tigers' Harriet Priest and Turvey Park's Maggie Hallcroft in action during the AFL Youth Girls competition in Wagga this year. Picture: Les Smith
GROWTH AREA: Wagga Tigers' Harriet Priest and Turvey Park's Maggie Hallcroft in action during the AFL Youth Girls competition in Wagga this year. Picture: Les Smith

Nines and female football were the big growth areas for Southern NSW AFL in the last 12 months.

AFL NSW-ACT released their participation figures for 2017 on Thursday and it again made for good reading for the sport.

Southern NSW AFL enjoyed a 46 per cent increase in participants in dedicated female clubs, while a 14 per cent increase in AFL 9s participation was also recorded.

Auskick enjoyed a five per cent increase, while there was a three per cent increase in total participation across Southern NSW AFL.

The statistics were part of strong numbers recorded across the ball in NSW with club participation growing eight per cent across the state.

Overall participation in AFL competitions in NSW-ACT grew seven per cent to over 250,000 participants making it Australia’s third biggest participation base in the country behind Victoria and Western Australia.

AFL NSW-ACT chief executive Sam Graham said it was a great result for the game in this state.

“I’m really excited about the fantastic growth of AFL across our region in 2017, especially in our key segments of Auskick, club and female football,” Graham said.

“Our growth in club football is the highest of any state in Australia driven by skyrocketing participation in our youth girls and female competitions. It’s fantastic to now offer a complete pathway from NAB AFL Auskick right through to the elite AFLW competition for women. 

“I’d like to thank our leagues, clubs, volunteers, coaches and administrators for their commitment to fostering growth across the region this year in what was an outstanding result for the AFL further highlighting the popularity of our code at all levels of our game.” 

The AFL reported that overall participation in competitions and programs nationwide grew to an impressive 1.55 million across the country in 2017. 

AFL Auskick growth remained steady with more than 66,000 kids taking part nationwide.

Southern NSW AFL’s 2017 participation statistics

- 14 per cent increase in AFL 9s participants

- Three per cent increase in total participation

- Five per cent increase in Auskick

- 46 per cent increase in participants in dedicated female clubs