Australian Rules is becoming the number one sport of choice for Queensland kids with a record number of NAB AFL Auskick community participants registered for 2023.
NAB AFL Auskick is the national introductory program to Australian football for kids aged 5-12. Overall, there are 14,500 kids registered to play Auskick across Queensland and Northern New South Wales schools and clubs.
In March this year, AFL Queensland (AFLQ) reached record community Auskick participation, with more than 6,650 of the total numbers of Auskickers signing up to play with their local clubs, smashing the previous record of 5,735 set in 2021.
Head of AFL Queensland (AFLQ) Trisha Squires thanked the community clubs for the role they played in reaching this milestone.
“Our community clubs have worked extremely hard to achieve these record participation numbers thanks to the dedication and hard work of our volunteers, administrators and coaches who run incredible NAB AFL Auskick clinics week in and week out. A lot of work goes into running successful Auskick programs and I’m pleased to see all their hard work paying off,” Squires said.
“Now these Auskickers are connected with their local clubs, the next step is to help them transition into community competitions and programs like Superstars.”
Forty-nine community clubs have more Auskickers than ever taking part with Greater Springfield going from 40 participants last year to 159 in 2023 and Mountain Creek jumping from 40 to 133. Several regions throughout the state have reached all-time high participation numbers with the Gold Coast region as well as Townsville and Cairns starting the year with record numbers.
“We have seen growth like never before, most notably in the Greater Springfield area, off the back of the Brisbane Lions moving to their all-new $80 million Elite Performance Centre, Brighton Homes Arena, last season,” Squires said.
AFLQ also has the highest percentage of female Auskick participation in the country with more than 28 per cent of total Auskick participants being girls.
“AFL Queensland is leading the way across the country when it comes to female participation in Auskick, particularly in our community clubs, with more than 30 girls only Auskick groups introduced this year,” Squires said.
“It’s fantastic to see more girls taking up footy from a young age with the introduction of the girls only Auskick groups this year and female U9s teams last year. It’s obvious the progress of the AFLW competition continues to have a huge, positive impact on community footy in the Sunshine State.”
Since 2019, there has been a 24 per cent increase in female community football participation in Queensland.
Most Auskick centres across the state and Northern New South Wales have now opened with more to come in term two. It’s not too late to sign up to your local Auskick Centre at www.play.afl/auskick.
NAB AFL Auskick programs gives kids the opportunity to learn the basic skills of Australian Rules Football, develop their motor skills and make new friends in a safe, fun environment no matter their skills or abilities.
Other recent developments helping to take the game to new levels in Queensland:
- The game in Queensland is still benefitting from the State Government and AFL teaming up for an $8 million partnership to support new community AFL facilities as part of the 2020 AFL Grand Final legacy
- Brisbane Lions’ all-new $80 million Elite Performance Centre, Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield, hosted the 2022 NAB AFLW Grand Final between the Lions and Melbourne, the first ever match hosted at the state-of-the-art venue
- The AFL announced in 2022 that it will enshrine 10 per cent of the game’s assessable revenue into the grassroots game from 2023, resulting in an immediate injection of an extra $17 million, taking the game’s commitment to community football from $50m to $67m this year
- In a major boost to female football, more than $5 million in new investment was committed to funding phase one of the Women and Girls Action Plan for the next three years
- There is now a clear pathway for women and girls to play Aussie Rules in Queensland from Auskick and U9s right through to Seniors and even AFLW