The growth of female football in South Australia continues to gain momentum with the number of females playing football almost doubling last year, according to latest figures released by SANFL.
Announcing the figures at the season launch of the 2019 SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League at Adelaide Oval today, SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said the number of female players registered with clubs in SA increased from 3,185 in 2017 to 6,118 in 2018, a 92 per cent rise.
SA results for the 2018 AFL Census reveal that overall female participation in SA grew by almost 35 per cent last year to 61,284. This includes all club and school competitions, as well as programs such as Auskick, throughout the State.
“The growth of female footy right across South Australia is exceptional and has far exceeded expectations,” Mr Parkinson said.
“It’s an exciting time for female football in South Australia, from grassroots through to the elite level, giving girls something to which they can aspire and senior female players more opportunity to play the game in well-structured competitions.”
In a further boost for female football in SA, Statewide Super will dedicate $30,000 of its naming rights sponsorship towards female talent development at SANFL Clubs.
“This funding will help facilitate the creation of eight part-time development officer positions in 2019 at each SANFL Club to assist with junior female talent pathway programs,” said Statewide Super General Manager, Member Engagement Tony D’Alessandro.
‘‘The rise in popularity of women’s footy over the past 12 months is really pleasing and highlights the importance of female talent development within the clubs.’’
“It’s important to us that our support provides opportunities for women and girls at all stages of their football careers. Our association with SANFL Women’s continues to be a source of pride and helps us highlight the gender gap in sport and superannuation.”
The 2019 SANFL Statewide Super League kicks off this Friday night, with all eight SANFL Clubs to be represented for the first time in the competition’s three-year history.
Woodville-West Torrens and Central District football clubs will make their debut in the competition, joining Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, Sturt, West Adelaide and reigning Premiers South Adelaide.
The 10-round competition runs until May 4 followed by a three-week Finals Series, with total prizemoney of $20,000 awarded to the Grand Finalists.