Football's growth masterplan targets schools

Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop has launched an ambitious program to massively expand football's support by making it an integral part of the Australian school system.

The Whole of Football Schools Strategy aims to encourage greater physical activity, convert participants to fans and influence education outcomes.

Speaking at the launch Gallop revealed the extent of the ambition: “We are a game united by a shared objective to become the biggest and most popular sport in Australia.”

The initiative was kicked-off at Clovelly Public School in NSW on Tuesday. The program hopes to influence and inspire 1.8 million teachers and students over the next four years.

Gallop stressed the importance of schools in the development of football in Australia.

“Schools are the cradle of education in our society and increasingly football is a core part of the sporting curriculum,” Gallop said.

“The most recent annual participation census reveals that over 400,000 students are engaged in school football programs and competitions across the country.

“Football is a universal language in schools, helping to build lifelong friendships and uniting communities in our diverse nation.

“We recognise that schools are the primary platform for future growth of the game.

“Football is in a unique position to connect with school communities and inspire learning outcomes among Australian students.

“It is a sport that can be played by everyone, and FFA is committed to promoting football as a vehicle to active and healthy living. 

“The game is getting bigger and the next four years provide a tremendous launching pad to further grow the fan base.

“To develop lifelong fans of our game we must acquire and retain participants in primary schools, build awareness and affiliation to the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League and invest in quality fan experiences.

“Football will become an integral part of the school system, through integration with the school curriculum. This is a core component of the games strategy to becoming the largest and most popular sport.

Key outcomes
For Participants
1. Quality experiences with football in schools for boys and girls
2. Access to playing opportunities beyond the schoolyard
3. Raising standards of school facilities

For Fans
1. Building awareness and affiliation with domestic leagues and teams
2. Club brand integration via multiple platforms
3. Being part of the match day experience

1. Addressing social issues through a wide variety of cross-curricula resources
2. Empowering and resourcing teachers
3. Educating youth through football