The Under 15 AFL National Diversity Championships will begin this Sunday April 3 at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, the traditional land of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people.
Currently in its third year, the AFL National Diversity Championships has been developed to provide a supported talented player pathway that compliments the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships and exposes Indigenous and Multicultural players, coaches, umpires, doctors, and trainers to an elite AFL Program environment.
Supported by Australia Post and Rio Tinto, the Championships will feature over 300 young Indigenous and Multicultural AFL players across 13 teams representing all States and Territories.
Games will be officiated by twelve umpires who represent the National Diversity Umpiring Academy, selected from state diversity academies based on high performance while coaches leading the squads are members of the Diversity Coaching Academy.
AFL General Manager Game and Market Development, Simon Lethlean, said the Championships is an exciting event, combining the Kickstart and All Nations carnivals and providing the AFL with another opportunity not only to highlight Indigenous and Multicultural footballers but also to showcase the diverse talent from across the country.
“The National Diversity Championships are a key component of the AFL’s Indigenous and Multicultural strategy and we are proud to announce that all matches during the week will be live-streamed for the first time,” Mr Lethlean said.
“In another first, AFL club recruiters will attend the Championships, offering our players the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the best talent scouts in the game.
“The week isn’t only about the players, we also provide an upskilling opportunity for our umpires and coaches through a series of education sessions.
“The Diversity Academies are one of a number initiatives launched by the AFL last year to provide pathway opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to embrace umpiring and coaching and hopefully either reach the elite level one day or umpire or coach at State or community football levels.
“We look forward to returning to Queensland for what promises to be another exciting Championships and we thank the Queensland Government for their continued support of our programs,” Mr Lethlean said.
The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the 2016 AFL National Diversity Championships as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, highlighting Australia’s best events in spectacular destinations.
The Championships will form the basis for selection to compete in the Boomerangs and World Teams at the NAB AFL Under 16 Championships.
QUEENSLAND KICKSTART TEAM
Coach: Peter Yagmoor
Team Manager: Jim Floyd
Assistant Coach: Dwayne Weetra
Runner: Eddie Sansbury
QUEENSLAND ALL NATIONS TEAM
Coach: Anda Tyalana
Team Manager: Keith Shangare
Assistant Coach: Will Fozard
Runner: Eddie Sansbury
Photo: 2015 All Nations Division Champions: Queensland