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Kicking goals for grassroots growth

TASMANIA’S parliamentarians have joined forces with AFL Tasmania to launch a new partnership aimed at promoting the benefits of Australian Rules Football.

‘Parliamentary Friends of Football’ will allow the governing body to work more closely with local MPs and builds on the Future Directions for Tasmania Football Report, which recommended boosting engagement between AFL Tasmania and all levels of government.

AFL Tasmanian chief executive officer Rob Auld said he was encouraged by the early support for the partnership.

“We are extremely grateful for the assistance AFL receives from government,” he said.

“It is not only critical to the sustainability of our game, but it helps deliver excellent social, health and educational benefits to the community.

“Government has also played an important role in helping us improve playing and training facilities across the state and it has assisted us in delivering a number of community programs designed to engage males, females and multicultural communities.”

Convening the group will be Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison, Elise Archer, Legislative Council president Jim Wilkinson and Labor Member for Denison Madeleine Ogilvie.

Ms Archer said it was important to support AFL at all levels, with communities across the state involved as players, administrators, umpires, coaches, ground staff, volunteers and supporters.

“This is a great initiative that reflects the important role that football plays in our economic, sporting and social fabric,” she said.

“It will help all MPs stay in close contact with the AFL’s administrators so we can work together to achieve even more.

“Members of parliament maintain close links to their local communities and will be a valuable source of information when identifying the challenges and opportunities for the future growth of AFL in Tasmania.”

AFL Tasmania said a program of events was now being finalised ahead of the 2017 season.

Caption: Speaking to media at the Parliamentary Friends of Football launch, from left, Speaker of the House of Assembly Elise Archer, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman, AFL Tasmania’s Jackson Hills, Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie, Legislative Council president Jim Wilkinson and AFL Tasmania chief executive officer, Rob Auld.

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