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FFA audit confirms football participation boom

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Participation in organised football has jumped 20% in 2015, a Football Federation Australia (FFA) national audit has found.

Community football clubs saw an increase of 7% in the past year to reach 499,361 players in 2,155 clubs in every state and territory.

The total number of participants in community clubs, school, indoor, social and introductory programs has soared to 1,188,911.

For the first time, the number of registered female players in outdoor club competitions has passed 100,000.

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The audited formal numbers of 1,188,911 together with informal participation levels put the total size of participation at almost 2 million people, giving football the largest participation base of any Australian team sport.

FFA CEO David Gallop has praised football organisations and Hyundai A-League clubs for their work in harnessing the booming interest in football.

“The heroes of this story are the thousands of volunteers in clubs across Australia, the suburban associations and zones,” said Gallop.

“Guiding their efforts are the management teams in the state and territory member federations and A-league clubs. This huge increase would not be possible without a co-ordinated and integrated effort.

“Through their commitment to the cause the volunteers and managers enable so many Australians of all ages to play the beautiful game.

“By the same measure operators of indoor centres and increasingly school teachers play a huge role in getting the game played.

“I thank each and every volunteer and staff member who has contributed to this success.”

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“The boom in football is putting enormous pressure on the available grounds, school pitches and indoor centres,” said Gallop.

“The installation of floodlights, artificial pitches and better amenities is a constant challenge for our stakeholders.

“We will be using the evidence of our growth to show all levels of government that an investment in football should be a top priority in building a social infrastructure in Australia.”

Gallop has indicated in the year ahead that finding more space to play and improving facilities will be a priority for community football.

© 2012 Football Federation Australia | This article first appeared on the FFA Website on 8 December 2015.

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