April 16, 2023
By SANFL Media
SANFL is thrilled to announce that National Pharmacies will continue as naming rights partner for the nation’s largest junior football competition, SANFL Juniors, as the 2023 season was officially launched today as part of Gather Round festivities in Elder Park.
Known as National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors since 2020, the competition prepares to host at least 11,500 boys and girls aged between U7 and U17.5 in season 2023.
Registrations, which are still open ahead of the first round kicking off next weekend, already have increased on 2022, with at least five new teams lacing up the boots for the first time – more than 700 from across metropolitan Adelaide.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler was joined today by Premier Peter Malinauskas to officially launch the season before thousands of junior players at the AFL Gather Round Festival of Footy live site in Elder Park.
”National Pharmacies is an iconic and highly respected South Australian-based organisation and we are delighted to have them on board again in season 2023 with our highly successful junior metro competition,” Mr Chandler said.
“Thanks to the support of National Pharmacies, we are able to continue to grow the community-based competition, providing more boys and girls every year with an opportunity to enjoy our great game.”
National Pharmacies’ extensive association with SANFL stretches back to 2017, when it supported SANFL’s umpires for three seasons.
In 2023, National Pharmacies will also have naming rights for the SANFL Juniors Radio show on SEN, hosted by former AFLW Crows star Courtney Cramey, as well as SANFL’s successful Next Step school holiday clinics for junior footballers.
National Pharmacies Chief Executive Officer Vito Borrello, also at today’s launch event, said SANFL Juniors aligns strongly with the ethos of National Pharmacies to encourage and enable life-long health and wellbeing.
“SANFL Juniors set young people on the path to wellbeing and a healthy life,” said Vito.
“Playing footy or volunteering at a local footy club offers physical and mental relaxation and promotes social inclusion. National Pharmacies is proud to play a part in the growth of footy for girls and boys all over South Australia.”
After an extensive recruitment drive across summer, National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors umpiring numbers are also on the rise in another encouraging sign.
As many as 623 umpires are on the SANFL Juniors panel for selection weekly in 2023, almost double that of the 326 who officiated last year.
Of those set to blow the whistle this year, 327 will don the fluorescent green for the first time, up from 115 in 2022 while female umpires have also increased from 28 last year to 77 in 2023.
After a successful trial in 2022, there will be three ‘Sit Down to Coach Rounds’ held in Rounds 1, 7 and 14 to help stamp out umpire abuse and dissent. The initiative, piloted in all matches from under 12s to under 17.5s in one round last year, applies to coaches, assistants, team managers, trainers/first aid persons and interchange players in the ‘exclusion zone’.
Round 1 matches for all grades will commence this weekend (April 21-23), with the exception of the U7 Minis competition which kicks off the following weekend of April 28-30.
In a first for National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors, a First Nations Round will be held across the competition in conjunction with NAIDOC Week on the weekend of Sunday July 2.
The annual Sammy D Violence Prevention Round also continues, this season to be held on the weekend of June 23-25.
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