The world game has lapped itself again on the North Coast with a surge in both female and overall participant numbers this season.
North Coast Football leads the way in what is an upward trend found across all of Northern NSW.
On the North Coast, Entry Level (5-7yrs) numbers jumped 5.93%, Seniors (18yrs+) increased 7.64%, female participation was up 10.31% and overall participation growth up 3.08% to a total of 5,147 registered players in the region.
Overall, Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) recorded another year of growth on the back of solid gains in 2015, with 6.46% growth to over 64,000 registered players across its seven Member Zones, eclipsing the 2015 growth figure (6.33%).
Continued support from Northern NSW Football’s Major Partner in Community Football, Newcastle Permanent, once again saw more than 9,000 footballs distributed to entry level players, as well as the ‘foot soldiers’ of the code, including volunteers, coaches and grassroots community clubs all recognised and awarded for their efforts in delivering the game so effectively across Northern NSW with the Newcastle Permanent Community Football Awards.
“The North Coast is a particularly strong region for our game and it has been reflected in the growth across 2016,” Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland said.
Eland attributes the ongoing increase to the exposure of world-class tournaments on show including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, followed by the January 2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia all provided positive impetus to strong growth in 2015 and this was reflected in a 6.33% growth in participation.
“History has shown that numbers immediately following a World Cup will grow given the profile of the tournament and an increased interest in the game. In 2015, this was complemented by Australia hosting the AFC Asian Cup.”
“However, it is clear from these figures for 2016 for the North Coast, that our game is continuing to build momentum and with the support of our Community Football Partner, Newcastle Permanent, we are able to provide players, volunteers and other stakeholders in the game across Northern NSW a rewarding and more enjoyable football experience,”