Hunter Region’s Football Participation Sets New Benchmark in 2019

September 5th, 2019

As football clubs throughout Northern NSW head into the 2019 Newcastle Permanent Grand Final Series, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) has announced more people than ever played football in 2019.

66,477 registered players participated in sanctioned competitions, events and tournaments conducted by NNSWF, its seven (7) affiliated Member Zones and clubs.

53,363 of these players registered with one of our 226 member clubs participated in traditional winter competitions with a further 13,114 players enjoying the fun of modified formats such as TAFE NSW Summer Football and Football FIVE5.

Within the Hunter Region’s Member Zones, including Newcastle Football, Macquarie Football and Hunter Valley Football, there were a total of 24,724 registered players for 2019 including a 4.82% increase in female participation.

Newcastle Football saw an astonishing 4.53% increase in Senior players (18+) for 2019, whilst Hunter Valley Football recorded a groundbreaking 4.44% increase in Entry Level players (4-7 Years). Macquarie Football had a steady season with a great increase of 2.6% in Junior players (8-11 Years).

Northern NSW Football Chief Executive Officer, David Eland said: “The increase was reflective of the overall popularity of football and the commitment of the thousands of selfless volunteers who run clubs, coach and officiate our game.”

“The number of players participating in traditional winter competitions throughout Northern NSW has increased by over 17% since 2013.

“Club football forms the foundations of our game and our next strategic plan will focus on further building the capacity of clubs to better meet their members’ needs and expectations.” 

Crucial to this success is the strong partnerships we form with business, community, Member Zones and Clubs.

“Our partnership with Newcastle Permanent as Major Sponsor of Community Football is vital to our vision. It allows us to invest more in programs and services which aim to assist clubs and keep registration fees for players as low as possible,” said Eland.

“Our seven Member Zones and affiliated clubs have once again successfully attracted, engaged and retained participants.”

“Football Clubs are run by volunteers who dedicate countless hours to ensure football is played, these clubs and volunteers play a vital role in their communities to provide opportunities for people to adopt healthy and active lifestyles and provide inclusive and enjoyable football experiences.”

Eland continued by highlighting the significant increase of women and girls playing Football.

“In 2019, we saw an increase of almost 5% to the previous season. Since 2013 the number of females participating in traditional winter competitions has increased by 33%,” said Eland.

NNSWF’s Head of Football Development, Pete Haynes said the success of the female game is fantastic, however grassroots facilities are struggling to keep up.

A recent state-wide audit of football facilities revealed that 82% of facilities don’t meet the expectations of female players.

“This includes appropriate change rooms or bathrooms, with many women getting changed in cars,” said Haynes.

The overall growth of the game has also highlighted the need for investment in lights and infrastructure such as drainage and irrigation to ensure that pitches remain safe for playing and training throughout the season.”

Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland applauds both the Federal and State Governments’ recent commitment to increase the overall level of funding applied to community sports facilities.

“While we applaud and appreciate current available funding, it is unfortunate the direct investment in football facilities simply isn’t commensurate with the sport’s vast participation.

“The Facilities Audit and subsequent regional infrastructure strategy identifies the acute need for further investment in football facilities,” concluded Eland.

Northern NSW Season 2019 Highlights

> Total registered players eclipse 66,000 for the first time;

> 4% increase in Junior (8 to 11yrs) ALDI MiniRoos;

> 2% overall growth on 2018 participation;

> 1.5% growth in players participating in traditional Winter competitions and ALDI MiniRoos;

> 5% growth in Women & Girls participation;

> 13% growth in TAFE Summer Football and other modified formats;

> Since 2013 the number of females participating in traditional Winter competitions has increased by 33%; and

> Overall players participating in traditional Winter competitions throughout Northern NSW has increased by over 17% since 2013.

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