AFL Canada

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Canberra Pear

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Nov 26, 2016
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I've read the annual report and I don't get your impression at all, in fact quite the opposite.
Can you quote the bits that support your "stalling" remark.
You don't seem to appreciate the huge amount of work in B.C.
The last I heard they could supply enough "coaches" for the demand.
And AFL Canada have had a paid development officer for some years now as a reward for their gains.
AFL Canada Annual Report

Do you post purely to be argumentative?

Yes, AFL Canada has had a full-time paid position since 2018, which is currently the executive director Jacob. He covers all of Canada. This is the first full-time role specifically covering one area. They advertised for the BC Development Manager in September. 50% of the role will be "local junior development".

Calgary also has a full-time position, but that's been organised by the Calgary Kangaroos and funded through local grants and fundraisers, rather than through AFL Canada.

Of course I appreciate the hard work that went into the NDJAFL. I spoke with Mike (the founder) several times and even got them some media attention through press releases I wrote and distributed for them. Mike did incredibly well building it up from scratch.

When was the last you heard about the demand for NDJAFL coaches? Their social media has been pretty inactive since the pandemic. I don't think they've taken to the pitch since March 2020. NDJAFL's "stalling" wasn't in the annual report. Generally annual reports tend to focus more on the positive. It was in my conversation with Jacob. That's why so much of the new role will be focused on re-building junior development.
 

Canberra Pear

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Can you write up something on the Australian Football in B.C. schools?

Of the current situation, there's very little to write.

The new BC Development Manager will start on December 1, so hopefully that will kickstart things again. Vancouver was chosen for the role mostly to help their juniors.

The Burnaby Eagles (in Vancouver) tried a few gameday Auskick sessions this year, but there wasn't much uptake.

Calgary in Alberta has been the stand out for the juniors'. In 2019, they taught footy to 21,000 kids (mostly in-school programs) and had 15 Auskick centres (I'll post the 2022 numbers when they're released). They've had a full-time juniors' position running these with money for that position attained through grants and fundraising.

Before the pandemic, the NDJAFL had a little over 100 kids playing in the actual league, which ran from March to June. And from January/February to April they'd host clinics in schools to try to get some to join the actual league. The 2018 school program was taught to 3000 kids across 12 schools.
 

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RedV3x

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TWLS

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H
Of the current situation, there's very little to write.

The new BC Development Manager will start on December 1, so hopefully that will kickstart things again. Vancouver was chosen for the role mostly to help their juniors.

The Burnaby Eagles (in Vancouver) tried a few gameday Auskick sessions this year, but there wasn't much uptake.

Calgary in Alberta has been the stand out for the juniors'. In 2019, they taught footy to 21,000 kids (mostly in-school programs) and had 15 Auskick centres (I'll post the 2022 numbers when they're released). They've had a full-time juniors' position running these with money for that position attained through grants and fundraising.

Before the pandemic, the NDJAFL had a little over 100 kids playing in the actual league, which ran from March to June. And from January/February to April they'd host clinics in schools to try to get some to join the actual league. The 2018 school program was taught to 3000 kids across 12 schools.
Hi,
Just curious did AFL Canada ever get funding from Government sources at all or did Covid kybosh it all 2020 and 2021. Was it about getting certain numbers playing or attending training in the first place as a criteria.
 

RedV3x

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Canberra Pear

All Australian
Nov 26, 2016
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Hi,
Just curious did AFL Canada ever get funding from Government sources at all or did Covid kybosh it all 2020 and 2021. Was it about getting certain numbers playing or attending training in the first place as a criteria.

While Covid wasn't great for participation, it was actually good for funding. The government was keen to create jobs.

Funding has come from Sport Canada. AFL Canada got $215k in 2021 in grants. This year we received more than $300k. The executive director is a gun at this grant and admin stuff.

Do you mean this ?

Australian Football is now an official Canadian sport.​

Australian Football is now an official Canadian sport. - World Footy News

AFL Canada doesn't directly get funding from becoming a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletics Association, but it makes it possible for the organisation to get more funding from third parties (such as the Jumpstart Foundation or the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association). It pretty much just legitimises the organisation. The RCAAA qualification also opens AFL Canada up to receipted donations.
 

TWLS

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While Covid wasn't great for participation, it was actually good for funding. The government was keen to create jobs.

Funding has come from Sport Canada. AFL Canada got $215k in 2021 in grants. This year we received more than $300k. The executive director is a gun at this grant and admin stuff.



AFL Canada doesn't directly get funding from becoming a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletics Association, but it makes it possible for the organisation to get more funding from third parties (such as the Jumpstart Foundation or the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association). It pretty much just legitimises the organisation. The RCAAA qualification also opens AFL Canada up to receipted donations.
Actually only just checked Sport Canada now and found they were handing out amounts of about $300k to various sports. Very handy indeed.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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While Covid wasn't great for participation, it was actually good for funding. The government was keen to create jobs.

Funding has come from Sport Canada. AFL Canada got $215k in 2021 in grants. This year we received more than $300k. The executive director is a gun at this grant and admin stuff.



AFL Canada doesn't directly get funding from becoming a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletics Association, but it makes it possible for the organisation to get more funding from third parties (such as the Jumpstart Foundation or the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association). It pretty much just legitimises the organisation. The RCAAA qualification also opens AFL Canada up to receipted donations.
Is Aussie X / X Movement, X Performance and Emile Studham still doing all those courses with Canadian school kids in Toronto and southern Ontario?? Or has that all stopped because of covid and Emile joining Gerard Murphy, Paul Roos and others in setting up Performance by Design and them concentrating on the corporate culture and leadership market, in both Toronto and Melbourne?

I think they exposed 300,000 school kids to footy, netball and cricket in Toronto and southern Ontario. They did say that their long run goal wasn't about Aussie sports, but getting a foot in the door to help school communities to raise a globally conscious, positive and healthy next generation.

You may recall I put up some videos and wrote about Aussie X / X Movement and Emile in the China thread on the Port board when Port were running the Power Footy programs in schools in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangdong and elsewhere in China.
 

Canberra Pear

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Is Aussie X / X Movement, X Performance and Emile Studham still doing all those courses with Canadian school kids in Toronto and southern Ontario?? Or has that all stopped because of covid and Emile joining Gerard Murphy, Paul Roos and others in setting up Performance by Design and them concentrating on the corporate culture and leadership market, in both Toronto and Melbourne?

I think they exposed 300,000 school kids to footy, netball and cricket in Toronto and southern Ontario. They did say that their long run goal wasn't about Aussie sports, but getting a foot in the door to help school communities to raise a globally conscious, positive and healthy next generation.

You may recall I put up some videos and wrote about Aussie X / X Movement and Emile in the China thread on the Port board when Port were running the Power Footy programs in schools in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangdong and elsewhere in China.

Good question. X Movement is independent of AFL Canada, so I don't know it as well. But our executive director Jacob Haeusler actually came from them (I think back when it was still Aussie X).

X Movement definitely branched out over the years into general health and fitness, but judging by their retweets, they seem to be still teaching footy pretty frequently.

They were averaging teaching footy to ~50k students a year, which is just incredible. I'll check with Jacob to see if they're getting anywhere near that level post-Covid.

They do a great job, but from a personal point of view, I'd like there to be better conversion from X Movement to AFL Ontario clubs. So many kids learning the sport each year just to forget about it once the program is over. I think it's trickier with the decentralised club system Ontario has, but hopefully that's something we can overcome in the future.

While there hasn't been great conversion, it has given the sport a greater general recognition. We've posted in local subreddits to recruit, and I've read comments saying that they tried it in school and enjoyed it. Previously it was just "that's rugby, right?". From memory, a few older students joined Etobicoke back in my playing days (Emile's club). Renee Tong (you may remember from the IC14 thread) tried it in school and a few years later picked it up again.
 

Canberra Pear

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Overall, it was a good year for junior footy in Canada.

Calgary is bouncing back. Taught about 10k in schools and about 170 kids in their Auskick programs. 50 of those are with the Kookaburras (the women's side) girls-specific Auskick centres. The Kangaroos now have two full-time staff. And as RedV3x posted, a sweet new ride.

In Toronto, the Central Blues are running Auskick. Bruce Parker used to be the AFL Canada president and is honestly a machine. He started both the Blues and the Gargoyles back in the day and he's still playing.

In Ottawa, I don't have specific numbers, but they've now got two Auskick centres, and have started a "Kangakick" centre for an older age group (for kids 10-12).

Vancouver juniors' is, unfortunately, in recess. Their four senior clubs are up and running, with Burnaby also fielding a women's side, but very little juniors' action. Hopefully this will change with the new appointment.

But I think the biggest thing to happen to AFL Canada this year is the Northern Lights Youth Mentor Project. It was a six-week program targeted at girls 10-15. It taught them footy, but also had webinars with guest speakers to teach off-field health stuff, too. It started in Ottawa and was replicated in Calgary, Halifax and Hamilton, totalling more than 100 girls. 40 of those were in Halifax, who have been expanding incredibly in 2022. The idea is for an even bigger 2023 and in more locations. Attached is a video from one of the sessions in Ottawa.

And I think these, in particular the Lights Project, look positive for future national teams. Anybody who's played footy overseas knows how unnatural it is for most people to pick the game up in their twenties, so hopefully these youth programs will flow to our national teams over the next decade.
 

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Canberra Pear

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The numbers from Canada in 2022.

Below pre-Covid numbers, but still bouncing back.

The majority of those in-school participants were in Calgary.

The Digital Members means the AFL Canada Membership, which was a partnership with Geelong to provide the cheapest option for the WatchAFL pass (it doesn't mean all those members were in Canada, just likely outside of Australia).

Senior numbers were generally flat, excluding Halifax, which has had a boost, particularly in women's numbers.

320003713_475513071173477_766890259458708435_n.jpg


I'm optimistic for 2023.

If Calgary gets an uninterrupted year to get into schools, and the introduction of the Vancouver development manager, in-school participants should easily surpass 20k, and possibly pip 30k (that doesn't include X Movement participation in Ontario). Hopefully we can filter some of them into local programs.

The Junior Lights Program look positive to expand again. It was in Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary and Halifax in 2022 (100-plus teenage girls). I expect most of those programs to grow, and for programs to possibly start in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The program looks promising for the future of the women's national team.

Senior participation will likely be the hardest to peg back. Hopefully we can work towards pre-Covid numbers.

There's a few pockets of growth.

There's a group in Windsor (across the river from Detroit) that's already looking to join the AFL Ontario men's season in 2023 (and hoping to join the women's division in 2024). They've already got an oval organised with permanent posts in Essex, about 20 minutes from Windsor. Distance is the big factor there, with an eight-hour round trip a big ask on a fortnightly basis.

Also in Ontario, the London (Forest City) and Kingston squads are growing. I don't expect either to play in AFL Ontario in 2023 (the league is 18-a-side, which is a big barrier), but players will likely train in London and Kingston, but play for other teams.

There's been a bit of activity in Saint John, New Brunswick. NB is a bit isolated, but reasonably close to Nova Scotia (~4 hours), so will hopefully give the players in Halifax and Cape Breton more regular competition.

There's also a been a few training sessions in Alberni Valley (Vancouver Island). Hopefully they can get a regular group playing and give the Victoria group some competition without having to leave the island.

Bring on 2023!
 

RedV3x

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I'm optimistic for 2023.

I am too.
Even in Australia, it's taking time to bounce back to the best pre-Covid figures.
That's why i feel looking too deeply at 2022 figures is quite meaningless.
A lot of the "startups" you quoted aren't actually new.
 

Canberra Pear

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A lot of the "startups" you quoted aren't actually new.

I didn't say they were new, I said they were pockets of growth.

Windsor, New Brunswick and Alberni Valley all started up in 2022. 2023 will be chance to see how much they've grown in actual games. There's also been sporadic play across the border from Windsor, so that team might also help footy in Detroit.

London and Kingston were both started pre-pandemic, but have struggled. Neither side has officially entered a team in AFL Ontario before. In terms of activity and participation, 2022 represented a year of growth for them.
 

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I spent a few days in Port Alberni in 1990, beautiful place. Caught the ferry from Nanaimo. I guess its changed beyond all recognition now.
 

Canberra Pear

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I spent a few days in Port Alberni in 1990, beautiful place. Caught the ferry from Nanaimo. I guess its changed beyond all recognition now.

I haven't personally been, so I couldn't say for sure, but all of the island I've seen (and province) has looked beautiful to me.

With about 20k, it's the smallest place in Canada with (or attempting to start) a team. But Nanaimo's only an hour away, and the Comox Valley ~70 minutes away (collectively ~200k), so hopefully they can tap into that larger nearby population and become the mid-island team.
 

RedV3x

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I spent a few days in Port Alberni in 1990, beautiful place. Caught the ferry from Nanaimo. I guess its changed beyond all recognition now.

I wouldn't think so. We had fish and chips at the dock and had the (fried)salmon fish because they were out of the usual.
Great Canadian fish and chips.
 

Seedsfan

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AFL clubs should be able to get a football department cap exemption to go over there during pre-season. If they incorporate school visits and the like
 

RedV3x

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AFL clubs should be able to get a football department cap exemption to go over there during pre-season. If they incorporate school visits and the like

Interesting thought.
AFL clubs could be doing a hell of a lot more w.r.t. development overseas if they only thought to include the local environment.
Do AFL clubs still have an overseas category , whatever it's called ?
 

Seedsfan

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Interesting thought.
AFL clubs could be doing a hell of a lot more w.r.t. development overseas if they only thought to include the local environment.
Do AFL clubs still have an overseas category , whatever it's called ?
They still have the cat b rookie spots and some clubs have loose affiliations with clubs overseas.
 

Canberra Pear

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Australian football will feature at this year’s Kin Games in Winnipeg from March 24-26.

Hundreds of university and college students will play footy across the weekend. It will be co-ed, non-tackle, and likely 9-a-side.

The Kin Games is an annual gathering of Kinesiology students from universities and colleges across Canada. Students compete for their school across academic and athletic competitions, with all the competitions adding up to their final score.

This year is the first in-person event since 2020. There will be 25 schools, and 400-700 students. Each school’s Aussie Rules result will contribute to that final score.

AFL Canada will try to give teams the option to learn with a local club (where available) to practise before the event (with the hope a few enjoy themselves so much they’ll come back).

Australian football previously featured at the 2018 Kin Games. Footy was slated for the 2020 Games, but the pandemic had brutal timing. The event was cancelled halfway through the weekend (footy was scheduled for Sunday, the event was cancelled on Sunday morning).
 

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