AFL Victoria has reported a record-breaking year in 2018, with new participation rates revealing an increase in Victorians playing Australian Football as well as a rise across all key segments.
AFL Victoria’s 2018 Census data showed a 2.8 per cent increase from 2017, with 474,633 participants taking part in the sport and 127,115 women and girls pulling on the jumper throughout the year representing 26 per cent of all participation.
Growth in female participation saw an additional 250 new female teams join competitions in 2018, which now sees a total of almost 1,000 dedicated female club teams across Victoria.
Children of all ages continued to flock to the game in 2018, with 42,366 participants in NAB AFL Auskick, while junior football numbers rose to new record levels of 60,825.
Head of AFL Victoria, Rick Bell, said it was pleasing to see that AFL Victoria’s commitment of being the most accessible sport for all Victorian’s has been reinforced.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your ability or your experience level is, every Victorian has the opportunity to get involved in our game,” Mr. Bell said.
“To have participation rates again rise to record levels reflects the tireless work of our staff, community leagues and more than 80,000 volunteers who are the backbone of football in Victoria.
Australian Football’s ability to embrace cultural diversity was also highlighted, with a rise in Indigenous participants to 11,727 and a total of 54,574 Multicultural participants.
Coaching and umpiring numbers also rose, with 17,197 accredited coaches and 7,855 umpires taking to the field.
“The football opportunities now on offer to participants from all walks of life including our many coaching courses, multicultural and indigenous pathways, inclusion and umpire programs have resulted in our game becoming more accessible to all parts of the community,” Bell said.
“To help accommodate this growth, AFL Victoria is working closely with the AFL, local leagues, and all levels of government to improve our sport’s community facilities.
“In 2018 alone, the AFL provided almost $3M in direct investment to club facilities which has helped generate more than $100M in total facility development, benefitting around 200 clubs.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the hundreds of fantastic community clubs in Victoria to ensure we keep pace with the changing demands of participants and the communities they represent.”
2018 AFL Victoria participation highlights
- Total participation –474,633
- Community Club participation – 172,050
- Female participation – 127,115
- NAB AFL Auskick participation – 42,366
- AFL 9s participation – 3,636
- School programs and competition participation –256,581
- Indigenous participation – 11,727
- Multicultural participation – 54,574
- Disability participation – 1,563
- Accredited coaches – 17,197
- Accredited umpires – 7,855