By Stuart Turner – The Northern Star
A SUCCESSFUL new scheme is helping develop potential future indigenous Aussie Rules players across the region.
About 20 FNC children have received funding through the AFL Northern Rivers Junior League’s AFL Indigenous and Disadvantaged Scholarship Program.
The scheme aims to help cover the costs of juniors and help get them playing the sport.
League vice-president Ean Jones said he hoped the initiative would prove very beneficial.
“There are certain parts of the community that are unable to play sports,” he said.
“Getting any kid to play sport is great, but if we can get kids who do not have the means to play sport involved through this scheme, that is great.”
The program was launched after the league successfully applied for funding through the State Government’s Office of Communities, Sport and Recreation department.
Players from across the region were invited to apply for the project, with recipients being selected depending on set criteria.
Casino’s junior club has been one of the proponents of the scheme, with a handful of players joining the club.
Jones said he hoped the program would help encourage other children to play the sport.
“The AFL competition has a number of indigenous players in the game right now,” he said. “We would love to replicate these participation rates in our league.
“These kids may inspire other indigenous kids to play the sport as well.
“There has been a lot of hard work gone into the scheme. It is fantastic it is paying off.”
For more information on possible funding routes for other clubs and causes, visit dsr.nsw.gov.au.