Gill Acknowledges Community Football

Friday, April 08, 2016

By Gillon McLachlan - AFL CEO

The 2016 football season is upon us and with some State/Territory and Community League seasons already off and running, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all State/Territory League and community clubs, coaches, players, umpires, volunteers, administrators, parents and supporters the best of luck for the year.

My son commences his football journey with NAB AFL Auskick this year so I look forward to my first experience as a parent in what has been, and remains, the flagship children’s participation program in this country. Thank you to all the hard working NAB AFL Auskick centre co-ordinators, coaches and volunteers for all that you do to make our children’s first formal experience with football a fun and engaging one.

To the parents of NAB AFL Auskickers, State/Territory League or community players, coaches or umpires, thank you for the role that you play in all of their football journeys. I hope the rewards of your support are rich ones for you.

Community football is the lifeblood of our game, underpinning its health and the success of the elite AFL competition. Community football introduces new people to the game and nurtures their sustained involvement.  It generates new fans and supporters of clubs, and it develops the players, coaches, umpires and administrators who will take our game into the future.

We understand the role that the AFL must play, along with our State and Territory bodies, to ensure that football remains the most popular community sport in Australia, with strong community connections and welcoming, safe and enjoyable environments for all.

Some of my fondest memories and experiences come from my time involved with community football as a player, committee member and supporter and I look forward to adding to those memories and experiences this year.

Good luck to you all and thank you for the role that you play in making our game great and a way of life for all communities.

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Michael Whelan, 20-04-16 11:06:
I wonder if Gill will put his hand up to be a Centre Co-ordinator. If he does, he will then start to understand some of the challenges centres face, whether it be dealing with local councils who want to charge exorbitant amounts for Centres to use parks and ovals, schools who want to charge for putting a promotional flyer in their school newsletter, or other time-consuming issues, all the while doing our proper day job and trying to earn a quid with this volunteer activity on the side. Given 2015 was the 'Year of the Fan' it would appear none of that flowed to the Auskick Centres - anyone for cheap pies & chips ?
Regards, Michael
David McPherson, 21-04-16 21:56:
Nice to hear Gill's comments and commitment of support. Also good to see he hasn't referred to Community Football as AFL.
It is unfortunate that this website and other media refer to all Austarlian rules football as AFL.To my knowledge only those fortunate enough to play in the elite competition are AFL players. The rest of the thousands who play the best game in the world actually play Australian Rules Football!
It is unfortunate that the AFL choose to add their brand to all Australian Rules competitions but fail to give adequate support to grass roots football in favor of overseas promotions and television rights!!
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This is Our Game
2017 AFL International Cup