A focus of the programs is at-risk indigenous populations, with SANFL also responsible for managing the Far North West Sports League – a football and softball competition spanning some 200,000 square kilometres of the APY Lands.
These programs also support Federal Government strategies in remote communities aimed at:

  • Improving school attendance rates.
  • Increasing community education outcomes.
  • Reducing risk of substance abuse.
  • Improving and increasing access to sports

Another successful initiative is the annual Don McSweeny Aboriginal Lands Cup played between the APY Lands and the MT Lands in Adelaide. This program also is delivered by SANFL through its Indigenous football development program. An extension to this is the development, mentoring and accreditation of Indigenous umpires, coaches and team assistants, with opportunities for casual employment within the regional Indigenous leagues.

A major success emanating from this annual football challenge is the significant increase in sporting development across Aboriginal lands in SA. SANFL has led this development, together with support from the Adelaide-based AFL clubs, and there is now regular and well organised football and softball fixtures being played across the APY Lands with the Far North West Sports League.
This not only has the benefits of promoting healthier, more active lifestyles for the participants, but also has stimulated a great local following and associated social interaction among communities.