FOOTBALL continues to go from strength to strength across the country.
After the weekend’s announcement that the sport was the number one in club-based participation sport, those figures rang true not only nationally but across Northern NSW.
Football Mid North Coast Chairman Mike Parsons is proud of the games continued growth.
“The announcement officially confirms what was widely accepted, that football is the largest sport in Northern NSW,” Parsons said.
“The total number of registered players in Northern NSW alone has grown by 42 per cent in the last decade to a record figure of 64,186 players for 2016. In our zone, in the 2016 season, junior numbers have increased 7.3 per cent and seniors are up a staggering 16.8 per cent, giving a total of 6,400 players participating in the World Game.”
“Aside from the international profile of the game, key drivers for this growth continue to be football’s appeal as a great game and its attractiveness to all ages and abilities for men, women, boys and girls, with huge growth in the number of females participating.”
Parsons said it also reflected the accessibility of the game.
“28 clubs participate across the Mid North Coast. It’s something that we have achieved through the stabilisation of registration fees by sound financial management and the support of major financial partners in community football such as the Newcastle Permanent Building Society,” Parsons said.
But the continued growth of the ‘World Game’ across the Mid North Coast was not without its challenges.
“As our game continues to grow, we face a number of challenges, including increased pressure on facilities with added demands for drainage, lighting and amenities, as some clubs are stretched to accommodate the player demand in their area,” Parsons said.