AFL partners with AASC program to launch ALF 9s
A new partnership between the Australian Football League (AFL) and the Australian Government was launched by the Minister for Sport, the Hon Kate Lundy on 4 July.
Designed to encourage children to participate more in the sport of football, AFL 9s will be introduced nationally throughout Australian schools and Outside School Hours Care Services (OSHCS) via the Active After-school Communities (AASC) program. The AASC program, which oversees the participation of up to 190,000 children in 70 different sports and 20 structured physical activities each term, is an Australian Government initiative delivered by the Australian Sports Commission.
“The AASC program is the perfect platform to promote the new AFL 9s game and encourage young kids to get active and participate in sport,” said Minister Lundy.
“The AASC program has been instrumental in building greater participation rates among primary school-aged children and it is great to have AFL on board.”
The Minister was joined by Brisbane Lions players, Jed Adcock and Josh Drummond, plus local primary school students from Ascot Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) at the Gabba in Brisbane to nationally launch this latest version of the game. It will be rolled out at AASC program sites throughout the country, from Term 3, 2012.
As the official alternative version of the game, AFL 9s has been developed to give everyone an opportunity to play AFL. Easier to play and less physically demanding than AFL, it aims to increase participation, enjoyment and safety. The modified rules make it easier for children to play as it is a non-tackle version of the game with limited physical contact. Only nine players per team are permitted on the field at any one time and the football is smaller and lighter.
AFL General Manager of International and National Development, Andrew Dillon, sees this partnership as a great boost for the new form of the game.
“AFL 9s is a great vehicle for the AASC program, providing an easily accessible form of the game to children at all development stages,” Dillon said.
The program, which marks the first formal partnership the AFL has developed with the AASC program, includes a jointly developed national handbook and coaching education resource, based on the Playing for Life philosophy. This will be provided to all community coaches who are delivering AASC AFL 9s sessions across the country.
Schools and OSCHS have been quick to register, with approximately 420 committed to rolling out the program in Term 3 and 4 this year. The AASC program currently operates in 3,270 schools and OSHCS across Australia.