The Australian Government and the AFL have announced a partnership that will see the AFL’s newest form of the game, AFL 9s, introduced nationally through Australian schools and childcare centres via the Australian Sports Commission’s Active After-School Communities program.
Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy joined Brisbane Lions players Matthew Leuenberger and Josh Drummond and primary school students from Ascot PCYC at the Gabba to launch the partnership with an AFL 9s session that will be replicated across the nation in the Active After-School Communities program.
It represents the first time that the AFL has had a formal partnership with the AASC program.
Federal Sports Minister Senator Kate Lundy is a supporter of the new partnership.
"The Active After-School Communities (AASC) program is the perfect platform to promote the new AFL 9s game and encourage young kids to get active and participate in sport," Senator Lundy said.
"The AASC program has been instrumental in building greater participation rates among primary school aged children and it is great to have the AFL on board."
The AFL’s General Manager of International and National Development, Andrew Dillon, sees the partnership as a great boost for the new form of the game.
"AFL 9s is a great vehicle for the Active After School Communities program, providing an easily accessible form of the game to children at all development stages," Dillon said.
"The partnership will allow for a uniform program to be rolled out nationally and already over 400 schools have requested the program for terms 3 and 4 this year - translating to over 12,000 new AFL 9s participants."
The Australian Government's Active After-school Communities (AASC) program is a national initiative that provides primary school children with access to sport and other structured physical activity programs in the after-school time slot of 3.00pm to 5.30pm.
The program aims to engage traditionally inactive children in sport and other structured physical activities and through a positive and fun experience, develop a love of sport that inspires them to join a local sporting club.
The new AFL/AASC partnership will see AFL 9s programs delivered to primary school children across Australia, via community clubs and private providers, under the direction of the AFL 9s national program. The AFL and AASC program have developed a national handbook and coaching education resource which will be provided to all community coaches who are delivering AASC AFL 9s sessions across the country.
Cadbury AFL 9s is the AFL's official alternative version of the game. It has been developed so everyone can have a go at playing Australian footy - easier to play, less physically demanding and a game where participation, enjoyment and safety are a priority.
Cadbury AFL 9s can be played in community competitions, schools and overseas with people of all ages and ability levels to participate in male, female or mixed teams as determined by the individual competition.
The AASC AFL 9s program has already seen the subscription of approximately 420 Schools or Childcare Benefit Approved Out of School Hours Care Services (OSHCS) for Terms 3 and 4 in 2012.