The world game has surged again in the New England with a boost in both female and overall participant numbers this season.
Northern Inland Football has reflected the upward trend found across all of Northern NSW as football continues its rise.
In Northern Inland, Entry Level (5-7yrs) numbers jumped 12.25%, with female participation up 9.61% and overall participation growth up 7.12% to a total of 5,927 registered players in the region.
Overall, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) recorded another year of growth on the back of solid gains in 2015, with a 6.46% increase in 2016 to over 64,000 registered players across its seven Member Zones, eclipsing the 2015 growth figure of 6.33%.
Continued support from Northern NSW Football’s Major Partner in Community Football, Newcastle Permanent, once again saw more than 9,000 footballs distributed to entry level players, as well as the ‘foot soldiers’ of the code, including volunteers, coaches and grassroots community clubs all recognised and awarded for their efforts in delivering the game so effectively across Northern NSW with the Newcastle Permanent Community Football Awards.
‘The Northern Inland is a particularly strong region for our game and it has been reflected in the growth across 2016,’ Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said.
Eland attributes the ongoing increase to the exposure of world-class tournaments on show including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, followed by the January 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia all provided positive impetus to strong growth.
‘History has shown that numbers immediately following a World Cup will grow given the profile of the tournament and an increased interest in the game. In 2015, this was complemented by Australia hosting the AFC Asian Cup.’
‘However, it is clear from these figures for 2016 for Northern Inland, that our game is continuing to build momentum and with the support of our Community Football Partner, Newcastle Permanent, we are able to provide players, volunteers and other stakeholders in the game across Northern NSW a rewarding and more enjoyable football experience,’ Eland concluded.