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Can we get the AFL involved? England shows the way.

Posted by devo on February 4, 2009

English Premier League football clubs are to offer thousands of young people the chance to get involved in Olympic sports in a groundbreaking £3.8 million partnership with the Government. Volleyball is one of the four sports to be offered to thousands of young people in partnership with football’s top tier along with badminton, judo and table tennis.

All 20 clubs in football’s top flight will link up with community sport clubs to help attract young people in their local area and offer them opportunities in badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball. The initiative will help the Government’s ambition to offer young people five hours of sport a week, as part of its 2012 legacy plans. It will also address the drop-off in sports participation when young people leave secondary school.

“Premier League clubs are at the heart of their communities, delivering quality projects that tackle a range of important issues. In fact, under the banner of our Creating Chances community initiative, over 1.4 million people took part in the many different activities run by our clubs last season. “Premier League 4 Sport will build on this existing work, encouraging young people who love football to think about taking up another sport. With the pedigree that our clubs have in delivering projects I am confident it will be a huge success.”

Each Premier League club will be linked to four community sport clubs in their local area which will work in partnership with the football club. The 80 community sport clubs will be linked to four secondary schools in the area creating a total of 320 satellite clubs. Each Premier League club will appoint a project co-ordinator who will manage the scheme locally and work with clubs and school sports departments to maximise opportunities for young people.

Volleyball England Chief Executive Officer Lisa Wainwright said: “Volleyball England is excited about the new opportunity this partnership with the Premier League provides us as an Olympic and Paralympic sport. We see this project helping to recruit and support young players at a local level to come into volleyball. Twinned with our Lets Play Volleyball junior development programme and the Volley 123 club accreditation scheme this is another great intervention to help us achieve our aim of getting more young people to enjoy volleyball. Having successfully achieved our targets around club development over the last four years this project will be among the first to help us to deliver our new strategic aim and direction for clubs moving towards 2012 and beyond.” full article @ FIVB

6 Responses to “Can we get the AFL involved? England shows the way.”

  1. Caveman said

    There is a big difference … Englands football is “soccer” which is an Olympic Sport. Australian football is “Aussie Rules” and not an Olympic Sport.

  2. devo said

    Surely the point here is the community partnerships?

  3. Troy M said

    AFL would just use it for themselves as a talent ID program, leaving a stream of athletically confused who will have compromised their ability to excel in either sport.

  4. markleb said

    This doesn’t seem to say anything about elite sport or talent identification. It seems to be a recreation program aimed at the post 2012 period to ensure that the infrastructure investment in sport is fully utilised.
    I am sure that AFL clubs already consider themselves to be community based sports clubs. Certainly, football clubs are traditionally community based. Which is incidentally my theory as to why Australian sportsmen of all types are happy to wander all around the world in search of fame/glory/etc while AFL players get homesick travelling from Melbourne to Sydney.
    As for the Olympic sport part, soccer is technically an Olympic sport, but it isn’t considered to be in Britain. They are still fighting about whether even to include a team in 2012 and who will be included.

  5. devo said

    To me, this points out the glaring difference between two countries approach to using the Olympics to boost a minority sport.

  6. markleb said

    In Australia there was also an Olympic legacy plan. For example, the Olympic Youth Festival is paid for by the Olympic legacy program. What specific possibilities there were for volleyball beyond that I don’t know.

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