Eyre Peninsula's footy participation on the rise

Figures from the 2018 AFL Census shows Australian rules football continues to grow in South Australia and that growth is seen on Eyre Peninsula.

Overall participation in the state in 2018 increased by 17.6 per cent and saw 204,892 participants involved.

Eyre Peninsula's total participation was 11,329 last year, up from 9171 participants in 2017.

The number of females playing football in the region also rose from 1566 participants in 2017 to 2202 last year.

SANFL community football manager Matt Duldig said the rise was positive for the growth of the sport.

"It is fantastic and we will look to continue to grow participation across South Australia," he said.

"There has been a focus on regional areas over the last 12 months to ensure all kids have the same opportunity across the state.

"Female growth is a big contributor and we wants boys and girls to have the opportunity to play the sport."

The Eastern Eyre Football League had 194 juniors and 280 seniors registered at clubs in 2018, up on 187 juniors and 257 seniors in 2017.

This was in addition to programs run in schools and extra activities which were also included in the census.

Auskick had 418 registrations across Eyre Peninsula in 2018, up from 358 a year earlier and 303 in 2016.​

Player registrations in all club competitions reached a new high of 52,323, while female participation grew 30 per cent in 2018 to 61,545.

Female club registrations jumped by 92 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

The census also revealed that Auskick participants across South Australia climbed above 10,000 for the first time, increasing on 2017 by 4.5 per cent.

SANFL chief executive officer Jake Parkinson said the organisation was doing more than ever before to grow football in South Australia and these participation figures were a key indicator of the effectiveness of this increased investment.

"This growth continues to increase demand on resources for all facets of our game, such as facilities, umpiring recruitment, coaching accreditation and league administration - a challenge SANFL meets for the benefit of football across SA," he said.

"To reach over 200,000 participants is a testament to the volunteers, coaches, school ambassadors, umpires, administrators and officials involved in our leagues and clubs across the state.

“Football clubs are at the heart of local communities, both in Adelaide and throughout our regions [and] they play a vital role in bringing people together, encouraging physical activity and supporting healthier, more connected lives through the enjoyment of footy.”