Dave chats with AFL Tasmania Community Football Manager Andrew Dykes as the 2018 participation figures have been released, revealing promising participation growth for Tasmania in a number of areas.

The figures demonstrate progress in school programs, female football and umpiring. They also highlight opportunities for future football growth – with the hard work continuing in strengthening grassroots football in Tasmania.

Overall statewide participation figures revealed growth of 6.58%, with club participation at 13,300 up 4.33% from 2017. Club teams also rose 3.63%, to 532 in 2018. Much of the growth is due to the continued rapid rise in female participation. Overall female club participation has risen 45.22% year on year, with 2520 female club participants and 93 dedicated female teams in 2018.

Junior and youth club participation numbers are steady in boys football and continue to grow in girls, with a 55.80% in female junior/youth football. Challenges remain with senior male participation numbers but positively there was a slight rise in the South. Partially balancing out a slight decline in the North and North West, equating to seven less Senior male teams in 2018.

School programs also saw a second significant rise of 7.34%, with the AFL Tasmania/North Melbourne FC’s ‘Next Generation in Schools’ program now in 108 Tasmanian schools – a 36.70% increase year on year.

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Umpiring has seen another impressive spike in Tasmania with a 4.1% jump in accredited umpires (503 total umpires), statewide.

“The participation figures show pleasing progress in a range of areas and reinforce our focus on Auskick and schools. We need to continue to drive more baseline participation,” AFL Tasmania Community Football Manager Andrew Dykes explains.

“We know that we need more players entering the pipeline to regenerate junior, youth and senior football participation across the state.

“2018 saw some pleasing wins but we know it is not a short term fix and we will continue to work hard in growing the game.”

2018 Participation Figures

44,407 Overall Participation – 6.57% rise

13,300 Club Participants – 4.33% rise

532 Club Teams (including Masters)- 3.63% rise

151 Senior Male Teams – 4.43% decline

275 Junior/Youth Male Teams – no change

2,520 Female Club Participants – 45.22% rise

26 Senior Female Teams – 36.84% rise

67 Junior/Youth Female Teams – 55.80% rise

15,680 School Program Participants – 7.34% rise

108 NMFC/AFLT Schools with ‘Next Generation in Schools’ – 36.70% rise

AFL Tasmania recognises that hard work is needed to rebuild baseline participation, particularly on the North West Coast. AFL Tasmania has set clear targets for 2019 to address the need for more players to be playing at the entry point of the game.

“The Community Football team has clear objectives for season 2019, all in the effort to strengthen participation in footy across Tasmania,” Mr Dykes said.


2019 Targets


3050 registered Auskick 2.0 participants (up from 2284 in 2018)

Minimum of 45 Auskick centres delivering the new and revamped Auskick 2.0 program

13,725 registered club participants (up from 13,300 in 2018)

(Junior – 4800, Youth – 4475, Senior –  4450)

Minimum 180 Primary/Secondary schools to have a minimum of one AFL Football Ambassador

Minimum 154 Primary/Secondary schools engaged in North Melbourne Next Generation in Schools program (up from 108 in 2018)

10% increase in umpires across the state (close to matching our increase from 2018) – to bring overall numbers to 544

Increase female umpiring numbers by 20% with formation of Female Umpiring Academies – would get us to 45 across the state

Coach Education

1.Delivery of Coach Mentor Program

2.Delivery of minimum 20 coach development workshops/forums