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Women’s football behind participation spike: AFL

AFL has set participation records in 2017, with AFL Women’s competition a key to the growth. (Photo: AFL Media)

The AFL has set participation records in 2017, with the introduction of the NAB AFL Women’s competition a key to the growth, it was reported today.

Participation in all levels of Australian Football has reached a record high 1,547,915, a 10% jump on the previous year, with AFL General Manager of Game Development, Andrew Dillon pointing to increased female involvement as a major factor.

“The participation in Australian Football has risen by 10.24 per cent this year and the NAB AFL Women’s competition has played a key role in contributing to that growth,” Dillon told media on Thursday.

463,364 females and girls were involved with the game in 2017, a 22 per cent increase from last year, while 1,690 teams were created this year alone, a whopping 76% increase from 2016.

“We knew AFLW would have an incredible impact on women playing the game as it provides an opportunity to aspire to; and the standout is the huge 76 per cent increase in the number of female community club teams in playing in 2017,” Dillon said.

“NAB AFL Auskick continues to be our marquee program with over 200,000 boys and girls being introduced to the skills of Australian Football nationally and enjoying a two per cent increase year-on-year.

“All states and territories have had growth this year, and this is demonstrated through constant growth in community club participation reaching over 371,000,” he said.

All States and Territories saw an increase in overall participation, with the total number of participation rising 10.24 per cent from 2016.

2017 AFL Participation highlights

  • Overall participants – 1,547,915 (up 10.24 per cent)
  • Community Club participants (across all age groups starting at five years of age through to Masters competitions) – 371,311 (2.96 per cent)
  • NAB AFL Auskick participation – 200,138 (up 2.26 per cent) across 3,416 centres nationally
  • Inter-School competitions – 300,567 (up 11.18 per cent)
  • AFL 9s competitions – 25,406 (up 15.46 per cent)
  • Accredited coaches – 33,721
  • Accredited umpires – 15,024

Female participation

  • Total female participation – 463,364 (up 22 per cent)
  • Female community club teams – 1,690 (up 76 per cent or 730 new teams)
  • The number of girls playing NAB AFL Auskick grew by six per cent to 56,559
  • Female community club participation (across all age groups) – 44,650 (up 68 per cent)
  • Females now account for 30 per cent of all participation