Queensland community clubs, umpires, coaches, and volunteers will have more support this season with AFL Queensland (AFLQ) appointing Hayley George to the newly-formed role of Club Development and Experience Manager – QLD.
Hayley is no stranger to Australian football and AFLQ having worked in competition management roles on the Gold Coast and Metro South from 2018 to 2021. She will lead the volunteer, umpiring and coaching teams to better support community clubs, ensure quality match day and training environments while also overseeing the implementation of the Women and Girls Action Plan across QLD.
“The women and girls area is key focus nationally for the AFL and there are some great resources being added into that space that every club and volunteer can benefit from,” George said.
“Clubs don’t work without volunteers and coaches, while games are not going to happen without umpires, so these areas need specific types of support. Our focus is keeping all areas of community football sustainable because it’s imperative all facets of the grassroots game thrive, and we are supporting clubs where they need it most.”
This role will play an important part in growing the umpiring talent pool through developing outstanding recruitment, pathway, and mentoring programs.
“Our aim is to upskill coaches and umpires to help them have positive experiences and enjoy what they’re doing,” Hayley said.
A new Club Development and Volunteer Coordinator role has also been created as part of the team to reinforce AFLQ’s commitment to supporting volunteers because without them there are no community clubs.
“Volunteers are performing their roles in community football outside of family lives and jobs. They are the drivers of the game, so we want to help them be as successful as possible, provide the tools to run a sustainable club, how to recruit volunteers and importantly, how to retain them,” she said.
In August last year, the AFL announced a major increase in community football investment, with an extra $17 million invested into grassroots footy, taking the game’s commitment from $50 million to $67 million in 2023, with further increases projected in coming years.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2023
- AFLQ’s State Government partnership, the Grand Final Facilities Fund continues to transform club environment’s with more than $66 million in projects supported all across Queensland.
- There is now a clear pathway for women and girls to play Aussie Rules in Queensland from U9s right through to QAFLW and even AFLW.
- The AFL Commission approved more than $5 million in new investment to fund phase one of the Women and Girls Action Plan for the next the years to drive female participation and representation for women and girls across all aspects from community footy from playing to coaching, umpiring, and administering.