AFL Kids First Program

Launched in 2005, the AFL Kids First Program has proved to be a highly successful initiative aimed at providing guidelines for positive interaction between parents and children within the sporting community.

Parents play an important role in the delivery and support of sporting activities for their own and other children, but they also have a clear responsibilityKids First Logo to act in a constructive and encouraging manner at all times.

Barracking and wanting your child to perform well is human nature, but it is critical that this should be done in a responsible manner avoiding the ‘ugly parent syndrome’ at all times.

The AFL invests over $23 million annually in strategies that support the participation of 450,000 players throughout Australia.

The AFL Kids First is a program that has been designed for leagues and associations to guide parents so that both they and their children obtain the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their participation in junior programs and matches.

AFL Kids First includes recommendations for leagues, associations and their clubs to manage situations where parents become over-enthusiastic and risk having a negative impact on their children’s activities.

The basic principles of AFL Kids First are to remind parents that:

  • Sport for children is a vital part of their growing up.
  • Children like to win, but more importantly, they want to have fun.
  • Parents need to set the right example at the sports ground, not just at home.
  • Parents should be proud of their child’s efforts irrespective of the result.
  • Sport is important to children’s self esteem

Guidelines for parents:

1. Remember that children play sport for their enjoyment, not yours.
2. Encourage children to participate – do not force participation upon them.
3. Focus on the child’s efforts and self esteem rather than whether they win or lose.
4. Encourage children to always participate according to the rules.
5. Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or for the team losing a game.
6. Remember that children learn best by example – applaud the efforts of all players in both teams.
7. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities.
8. Show appreciation of volunteer coaches, officials and administrators, without whom your child could not participate.
9. Respect umpires’ decisions and teach children to do likewise.
10. Remember that smoking and the consumption of alcohol is unacceptable at junior sport.

Clubs may request the assistance of an AFL Victoria facilitator to present the AFL KIDS FIRST material to club members and players.

  • Please contact your local AFL Victoria Region Development Manager (Metro) or WorkSafe AFL Victoria Country Football Development Manager by CLICKING HERE for more information.