Sport

KICKING GOALS: AFL boasts 42% growth in 2017

BATTLE FOR THE BALL: The addition of a new four-team Youth Girls competition for 2017 has helped  participation rates grow in the juniors by 42% since last season.
BATTLE FOR THE BALL: The addition of a new four-team Youth Girls competition for 2017 has helped participation rates grow in the juniors by 42% since last season. Debrah Novak

AUSSIE RULES: Junior AFL has marked itself as one of the fastest growing sports on the North Coast, with a 42% increase in the number of teams recorded ahead of this year's season.

The growth has been highlighted by Nambucca Valley Lions re-joining the competition, Bellingen Bulldogs adding an Under 15.5 team, Northern Beaches Blues entering Under 13s for the first time and Port Macquarie Magpies entering a second team in the Under 11 age group.

Closer to home, the Grafton Tigers are expected to field teams in the Under 11, Under 13, Under 15.5 and Under 18 competitions this season as well as being one of four clubs to take part in the inaugural Youth Girls (13-17) competition.

For club junior president Wayne Phillips it has already felt like a successful season before a ball has even been kicked.

"Our junior ranks are looking quite strong and promising," he said. "We are facing a couple of hurdles with getting some players on to the park due to reformed age restrictions but there is a positive feeling at the club.

"The most positive thing for the club is the fact we have a full book of coaches including a specialised female coach up from Melbourne for our youth girls' side."

While numbers are on the increase at the Tigers club, Phillips said the doors were wide open for any interested juniors who wanted to get a start in the AFL.

North Coast AFL operations co-ordinator Paul Taylor said the association was excited about the prospect of further growth across the fields.

"AFL is growing in popularity year on year. Off the back of the recent visit to the region by the Sydney Swans and the introduction of the AFL women's competition we're seeing boys and girls of all ages wanting to join clubs and play the game," Taylor said.

"Our sport is safe, fun, and inclusive, and promotes physical fitness and teamwork."

Not only is the growth raising eyes across the North Coast, it's also marking the region as one of the fastest growing areas for AFL within NSW and the ACT. Taylor said the volunteer coaches and administrators deserved much of the credit for the code's recent successes.

Topics:  afl aussie rules grafton tigers growth junior footy north coast afl



Group 2 women in a league of their own

UNSTOPPABLE: Sawtell's Lauren Dam is part of the inaugural Group 2 Women's League Tag team.

Women's League Tag team about to create history.

Young guns ooze enthusiasm

Woolgoolga's Brad Collinson has been named captain of Group 2's under-23 team that will play today while Sawtell's Locky Miller will play at hooker.

"With youth comes exuberance”: Group 2 coach.

Axemen must think big to win

Brannon Murray is one of four Coffs Snappers players selected in the MNC Rugby Axemen team to play in the NSW Country Championships this weekend.

MNC Rugby hosting NSW Country Championships this weekend

Local Partners

$156 million Coffs Health Campus expansion moves forward

THE design stage of the Coffs Harbour Health Campus expansion has officially begun, two years after the $156 million redevelopment was announced.


Toowoomba woman's Africa trip to share song

HERE TO HELP: Women in Harmony music director Elaine Coates (right) will travel to Uganda later this year to work with the African Children's Choir. Former members of the choir travelled to Toowoomba to perform last year incuding Elizabeth Panga (left) and tour manager Abraham Kiyingi.

A Toowoomba woman is preparing for a trip of a lifetime

Hundreds of cars going for bargain at record Coast auction

Mike Clayton at the Nambour car yard in the lead-up to a previous year's sale.

Impounded cars going under the hammer, no reserves

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Screen legend Anthony LaPaglia has confirmed his engagement to his much younger girlfriend, Alexandra Henkel

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

The pic that could cost Khloe Kardashian $200k

Khloe Kardashian has admitted she "loves" watching porn, but doesn't think her family are famous purely because of her sister Kim Kardashian West's sex tape.

Khloe Kardashian has been slapped with a $A200,750 lawsuit

Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies

Director Jonathan Demme, 73, has died of cancer. He is pictured here attending the premiere of "Song One" in New York.

TRIBUTES have poured in for the Oscar-winning director.

Affordable rentals out of reach for North Coast residents

Rental affordability hits new crisis levels

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Exclusive address, exquisite home

OUTLOOK: This Kratz Dr home takes in a stunning hinterland vista.

A chance to buy in Coffs dress circle

Regional NSW house prices surge

Prices rise along the eastern seaboard, how did your house fare?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!