Media Release

SANFL welcomes huge news that AFL Gather Round is here to stay

The historic AFL Gather Round game played at Norwood Oval between Gold Coast Suns and Fremantle. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

April 16, 2023

By SANFL Media 

The SANFL is thrilled to hear the huge news that AFL Gather Round is here to stay until 2026 and congratulates the Malinauskas Government on securing the exclusive rights to the event for a further three years.

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler said that having a festival of footy for the next three years in South Australia would be a boon for the State’s economy and football in this State.

Mr Chandler said that having the opportunity to host Gather Round until 2026 would turbo charge all aspects of football right across the State, from participation to talent pathways to facilities funding.

“On behalf of the SANFL and SA Football Commission, we congratulate Premier Malinauskas and look forward to continue working with the State Government and the AFL over the next three years and building on the success of the inaugural Gather Round,” Mr Chandler said.

“As the peak body for football in South Australia, our entire SANFL team has worked incredibly hard over the past four months with the AFL to give SA the best chance of having Gather Round return and to ensure it leaves a long-lasting legacy for football in South Australia.”

Mr Chandler said in addition to the large amount of work to help bring Gather Round to South Australia, SANFL, together with the eight SANFL Clubs, supported the major event through a range of initiatives to engage with participants and key stakeholders.

In addition to the nine games of football played in SA during Gather Round, two of which were played at Norwood Football Club, SANFL with the support of the AFL, also delivered:

  • 16 free clinics with AFL and SANFL players reaching over 3000 kids
  • Gather Round Giveaway competition with 6000 entries from registered football participants in the to win over 20 ‘money can’t buy’ match day experiences and prizes
  • 16 AFL Captain’s Runs and player appearances
  • The Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow – 21 days, 2,500km, 52 schools, 12 regional clubs, five community venues, 1600 footballs donated to clubs and 5000 fans reached right across the State.
  • National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors season launch, attracting more than 2000 juniors/kids to the Festival of Footy live site in Elder Park with
  • Eight Torrens University SANFL U16s and U18s matches played in front of national recruiters, showcasing SA elite boys’ talent
  • Coach development workshops at SANFL venues connecting 400 community coaches with AFL head coaches.
  • 50 Local Governments hosted at the inaugural Festival of Facilities forum and tour of The Summit, Mt Barker
  • Community Club Development Day attended by almost 200 club and league volunteers, as well as live streamed across the nation
  • Half-time Auskick experiences for approximately 800 boys and girls
  • Umpire workshops and match day experiences connecting 500 community and junior umpires with elite AFL umpires
  • 500 AFL Gather Round branded kits to schools in metropolitan Adelaide
  • Creation of a new Ultimate Football Membership space at the David Hookes Bar in the Western Stand of Adelaide Oval for local and interstate attendees to enjoy.


The SANFL and Collingwood footy clinic at West Adelaide FC during Gather Round, one of 16 clinics delivered across five days.

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