First U12 Girls Comp launches in Sydney

The first ever AFL Sydney Juniors Under 12s Girls Competition was launched over the weekend with 20 new teams joining the Sydney Harbour contest for 2017.

Over 300 girls and their families were present at the event where they were joined by GWS GIANTS AFL Women’s marquee players, Emma Swanson and Renee Forth, who also assisted with a coaching session later in the day.

With the Greater Western Sydney region producing another 12 new Under 12s Girls teams this year, female football in Sydney is certainly on the rise.

Following the introduction and marked success of the inaugural AFL Women’s competition, 2016 to 2017 female participation numbers have increased by 43.2% within the AFL Sydney Juniors league.

Considering this growth, AFL NSW/ACT has made it a key priority to ensure that development at a junior level is established, with the aim of producing well-rounded and skilled female players of the future.

Sydney Harbour Regional Manager, Simon Wilson says that events like Sunday’s launch are critical to developing the future talent pool for female football in the state.

“There has been a focus on driving increased female participation in AFL for a number of years across Sydney,” explains Wilson.

“The foundations are now in place provide a complete pathway from Auskick through to elite senior women’s football.

“It is fantastic to see so many young girls embrace AFL and enjoy the benefits of being involved in a team sport. The popularity on the back of the AFLW competition has been overwhelming.”

The launch of the AFL Sydney Juniors Girls Competition also saw the first major day’s play at the new ELS Hall facility in Ryde, one of Sydney’s newest synthetic grounds. Despite significant rainfall throughout the week – and some on the day – the event was able to continue due to the high tech all-weather surface.

“AFL NSW/ACT continues to work with Councils on a range of facility improvements and the establishment of this new synthetic surface is another example,” Wilson said.

“Our thanks go to the City of Ryde for the investment into this project which provides a range of overall benefits to the broader community.”

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