PHOTO: Hunter Valley Football Operations Manager, Sarah White with Newcastle Permanent, Kurri Kurri & Cessnock Mobile Lending Manager, Annes Ninness
As the football season approaches, more than 9,000 footballs have flooded Northern NSW thanks to Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) Official Partner in Community Football Newcastle Permanent Building Society.
Provided annually by Newcastle Permanent in association with NNSWF to entry-level players aged 7 and under to help kick-start their season, the free balls complement the overall affordability of the game for new players along with NNSWF not increasing its component of player registration fees for the third consecutive year.
“Partners such as the Newcastle Permanent allow us to keep player registration fees stable and this is a major drawcard for parents looking for an affordable, fun and safe sport for their children,” NNSWF CEO David Eland said.
“The Northern NSW Football component of player registration fees for Community Entry Level players remains the same for season 2017 and has been unchanged since 2015 at $13.10,” Eland said.
Affordability, the profile of the game both nationally and internationally and its appeal to both male and female players of all ages and ability has seen football registrations rise 6.46% across Northern NSW in 2016, with over 64,000 players last season, eclipsing the 6.33% growth achieved in 2015.
Local Member Zones in Newcastle, Hunter and Lake Macquarie recorded a growth of 2.6% on 2016’s figures, with NNSWF’s four regional Member Zones in the State’s North recording an average increase of 3.4%.
Strongest segment growth in Newcastle Football occurred in Juniors (8-11 years) with a total increase of 4.8%. In Macquarie Football, female participation had a major increase of 17.8% whilst in the Hunter Valley, their strongest segment occurred in Youth (8-11 years) with a total increase of 5.7%.
“Player numbers continue to grow across Northern NSW and we anticipate that with the continued affordability of football we can look forward to further growth in 2017,” Eland concluded.
With the figures growing across Northern NSW as did the figures nationally, with the Australian Sports Commission, confirming football’s rightful place as Australia’s number one club based participation sport in research released in December 2016.