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Leisure Networks helps create more opportunities in local AFL

MEDIA RELEASE 30 Nov 2022    

For immediate release   

Media Release- Leisure Networks helps create more opportunities in local AFL   

Less than two months ago, Leisure Networks announced the launch of the Inclusion League, a local all abilities AFL football competition. 

To open up even more opportunities in AFL, Scott Smith the junior club coordinator at Newcomb Power Football & Netball Club is developing a brand-new way of coaching footy. 

“It’s something Scotty and I have been talking about for years,” explains Luke Maher, Program Coordinator, Leisure Networks. With the support of Leisure Networks in its role as the Regional Sports Assembly for the City of Geelong, Colac Otway, Queenscliff and Surf Coast Shires, Footy 7s is now a reality for kids aged 9 through to 16 who want to get involved in community AFL. 

Footy 7s is a modified version of the game, played with 7 a side on a smaller field. 

“It gives more kids a chance to have a go at a team sport and there’s so much value in that,” says Luke. “Playing a team sport is great for their confidence, it builds social skills and teaches them so much about having to take turns and share with others.” 

Scott from Newcomb Power agrees. “It gives them real skills off the field as well,” he says. “Definitely. It really helps them learn how to work with others and interact.” 

With support from AFL Victoria’s participation team and Leisure Networks Newcomb Power has been running an All Abilities Auskick program for children aged 6 to 13. Footy 7s is aimed at filling the gap between this age group and the Inclusion League which is for players aged 16plus. 

“Hopefully we’ll build it up and we’ll be able to get teams at all the clubs that are playing in the Inclusion League that starts next year,” explains Scott. “We’ve got four teams there, long term plan is that we’ll have a Footy 7s junior which will be from 9 through to 13 and then we’ll have a youth, which will be 13 through to 16 then from that they can step up. So it’s a full pathway all the way through from Auskick all the way through to seniors.” 

Geelong Dragons player, Tyler Vandermeer has been on hand to support Scott and mentor the younger players. Tyler has just come off an incredible season of AFL and was picked to play with the 2022 Vic Country team at the National Inclusion Carnival earlier this month. 

“This is exactly the sort of thing we’re trying to achieve through our work at Leisure Networks,” says Luke. “It’s great that Tyler is playing football at a competition level, and it’s great that he’s taking his experience back into the community to support so many young kids coming up through the game.” 

 

Further information:  

Contact  

Luke Maher, Program Coordinator, Access All Abilities  

[email protected]  (03) 5222 3911  

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.