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.
Gillon McLachlan CEO, Australian Football League