Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) annual census results have showed that the region is quickly expanding in all the important areas of growth.
The census, which included information from July 1 2022 to June 30 2023, highlighted that the Total Registered Participants number reached 82,018, a 19% increase, whilst registered players were 73,766 with a 20% increase.
Miniroos and Youth participation, which was a main focus for Northern NSW in their 2021-23 strategy plan, both saw a 9% rise, whilst the 19+ senior age group rose 4%.
Importantly, registered volunteers were up 19 per cent with registered match officials increasing eight percent meaning a better foundation is created at the grassroots level for it to run as efficiently as it can.
There has been a nation-wide effort, headed by Football Australia’s strategy plan, to try and bring 50/50 gender parity for grassroots football, and the census results suggest that 74% of participants are Male which is a 5% swing on the 2022 numbers.
There is a long way to go to achieve this goal but after the recent Women’s World Cup and record numbers for participation and Liberty A-league attendance, there’s no doubt this will continue to swing towards parity for 2024 and beyond.
NNSWF General Manager of Community Football Ross Hicks expressed his delight for what the results mean for the region.
“It is really important that our numbers within our competitions continue to increase,” Hicks said via Northern NSW press release.
“The number of registered winter players is up by eight per cent with a total of 54,358 which is significant. This increase is crucial in helping the game continue to grow and we hope that we see these trends continue to help build the future of football within northern NSW.”
NNSWF CEO Peter Haynes was similarly pleased with the results and overall growth.
“It’s fantastic to see the participant numbers across our game in northern NSW increasing,” Haynes added via press release.
“These numbers are not just a result of the job NNSWF are doing but the immense strength of our game and the high-quality experiences delivered by our member zones and clubs throughout our region.”
There are plenty of positives coming out of the annual census results for Northern NSW Football and it certainly highlights an element of growth and sustainability for the near future where the future of the sport seems brighter than ever before.