Pictured: Northern Inland Football General Manager, Gavin Flanagan, and Newcastle Permanent Assistant Branch Manager for Tamworth, Jesse Brown, pictured with some of the balls that are ready for distribution.
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.
In 2016 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.
“Player numbers continue to grow across Northern NSW including here in the Northern Inland and we anticipate that with the continued affordability of football we can look forward to further growth in 2017,” Eland said.
The growth across Northern NSW and nationally was confirmed by the Australian Sports Commission in research released in December 2016 that confirming football’s rightful place as Australia’s number one club based participation sport.