Started in the 1850’s as a way to keep cricketers fit in the off-seasonA hybrid of rugby, gaelic football and an indigenous game called “Marngrook”Fast forward to today it is the biggest winter code in Australia, with the biggest TV and sponsorship revenues.Average crowds per match are above 30,000 which ranks it in the top 5 of attendances globally with other professional sports leagues in American Football, Baseball, German Bundesliga and English Premier League.AFL also attracts the best young sporting talent in Australia, including our indigenous population (only 2.5% of the population are indigenous yet 10% of players at professional level are indigenous).A crazy situation where you have a game that is only played in Australia dragging players away from global professional careers in basketball, rugby union and others. Not because of the money, so why ?
Exposure for kids and families at an early age.The AFL’s junior program which is heavily promoted by the governing body as a way to introduce kids to the sport.Only open to kids from 5- 12 years of age and they play mixed games up to this point – boys and girls.850,000 kids active at primary school level – small in Indian terms but there are only 2 million kids of primary school age in Australia.Roughly 1 in 2 primary school kids in Australia will pay to play AFL outside school hours throughout the year !!!
The key is that this isn’t all run by the governing body, parents are expected to run the clinics for kids as co-ordinators, assistants and volunteers. Doctors and mechanics doing this side by side on a weekend. League provides all the material.Kiwikick in New Zealand, Footywild in the RSA and as Eurokick in Europe
A strong focus on female participation – mother’s are very important in the choice of sport kids now play so they need to be included in the activitiesKiwikick in New Zealand, Footywild in the RSA and as Eurokick in Europe
Junior programs now running in different markets:Kiwikick in New Zealand, Footywild in the RSA and as Eurokick in Europe120,000 participants globally - tiny but growing
But it’s not about the celebrities
People look and say why play it ?!There’s no moneyThere’s no well-paid career pathPositive attributes I think it offers in IndiaNo pressure on kids to performNo gender hang-ups that you get with established sportsIT GIVES KIDS A CHANCE TO PLAY A SPORT FOR THE SAKE OF IT !!
Community, passion, active lifestyle, fun !
Next Step 2014 presentation by Tom Calder from Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)
An introduction to Australian
Rules Football in India
What is “Aussie Rules Football” ?