Football is back on the agenda for thousands of Victorian students this season, following the launch of the 2018 AFL Victoria Schools Program on Wednesday.
Over 100 students and coaches from schools across the state gathered at VU Whitten Oval to open a new season of football with the help of a handful of AFLW premiership players.
Western Bulldogs AFL Women’s premiership duo Libby Birch and Tiarna Ernst, along with AFL Victoria Multicultural Development Officer and Footscray Peter Jackson VFL player Reuben William were on hand to share their knowledge about their journey in the sport.
AFL Victoria’s School Football Programs play a significant part in the total participation opportunities offered in Victoria with more than 146,000 students engaged during 2017 alone, while more than 2,200 AFL School Ambassadors continue to work closely with students to encourage them to take up opportunities and play Australia’s indigenous game.
Catering for students of all ages, AFL Victoria School Programs include initiatives such as Umpire Academies, AFL 9s in Schools, Access All Abilities clinics and a specially designed curriculum to engage students from a multicultural background.
With a 43 per cent increase in the number of participants playing in AFL Victoria’s school programs and competitions in 2017, this season is expected to be another huge year of football, with the return of the Herald Sun Shield.
Hundreds of schools from across Victoria will compete within their Association’s School Football fixture for the opportunity to take part in the much-loved Herald Sun Shield competition, which has grown to involve ten School Sport Associations competing in each of the boys and girls divisions across both an Intermediate and Senior level of competition.
St Bernard’s College Essendon will be seeking to defend its Senior Boys Herald Sun Shield title this season after a 16-point win over St Patrick’s College last year, while Ballarat Grammar will be looking to claim its third consecutive premiership in the Division One Senior Girls Shield.
In the newly created Intermediate competitions, it was Xavier College that took home the inaugural 2017 Herald Sun Shield Division One Intermediate Boys title, while Loreto secured the Division One Intermediate Girls flag with a win over Bentleigh.
In addition, the 2018 School Football Launch also welcomed the return of AFL Victoria’s SuperKick competition.
Established last season, AFL Victoria’s SuperKick competition will once again invite schools to conduct a longest kicking competition for students during Terms 2 and 3.
Open to secondary school students of all ages, the top five male and top five female kicks in the State will be invited to attend the State Final of the AFL Victoria SuperKick to be held at the VFL Grand Final on September 23.
- CLICK HERE for a full recap on the 2017 Herald Sun Shield…