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Article courtesy of Fairfield Advance






AUSTRALIAN Rules Football is making good progress in Sydney’s south-west.


Building on booming grassroots participation numbers, the AFL has started to target local schools as part of a promotional campaign to boost interest in the game.


Fairfield West Public School recently accepted an offer from the league to have goal posts installed on their goal posts installed on their oval free of charge.


Now Westfield Sports, a nursery for the likes of Harry Kewell, Michael Clarke and former Western Sydney Giants player Israel Folau, has decided to introduce Australian Rules Football into its programs on offer this year.


Principal Roger Davis said the school planned to forge a close relationship with the Giants to promote the game further in the western suburbs.


‘‘We’re starting at the bottom but we plan to build the sport over the next five or so years,’’ he said.


‘‘It’s all about providing more opportunities and giving students here another option.


‘‘Down the track I like to think we could have a local student playing for the Giants. . . it’s definitely possible,’’ he said.


The program will have a growing pool of local talent to draw from.


An AFL spokesman said the sport’s registration figures in greater western Sydney reached almost Sydney reached almost 36,500 last season, up by about 8000, or 29 per cent, from 2011.


The numbers indicate participation growth in Auskick, school programs, recreational competitions and club football.


Increased community involvement as well as AFL equipment grants are some of the reasons behind the sports growth.



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