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The funding program is designed to create a legacy to follow Western Australia's historic first AFL Grand Final.

Delivering $1 million per annum over five years, the program will support a wide range of measures from facility upgrades to community participation initiatives.

The Kimberley has a population of around 35,000 with 81 football teams, 17 Auskick centres and nearly 2600 registered players across an area twice the size of Victoria.

There are several players hailing from the Kimberley in the AFL and AFLW system — including Liam Henry, Callum Ah Chee, Bailey Banfield and Krstel Petrevski — making it a well-represented region in terms of AFL players per capita.

Despite the region's incredible success to date, further investment is required to help football in the Kimberley reach its full potential and allow players to overcome the tyranny of distance.

The State Government and AFL will jointly fund the annual $1 million investment, each contributing an equal 50:50 share towards the program.

The initiative will fund four key development areas:

  • $400,000 on facility upgrades such as lighting, ground improvements, and female change rooms and amenities
  • $350,000 on community participation, investing in the region's three leagues and creating new local jobs to support football development
  • $150,000 to bolster football pathways, supporting regionally-based coaches to oversee pathway programs and access to specialist expertise
  • $100,000 on travel subsidies, removing barriers to regular competition, particularly for remote communities participating in the Kimberley football leagues.

The pathway program funding will complement the existing Kimberley Spirit (indigenous male program) and the Claremont Football Club pathways.

This $5 million funding program follows recent State Government investments in Kimberley football, including $339,000 for floodlighting at Nipper Roe Sports Field in Broome and $592,000 to upgrade change rooms and lighting at Clarrie Cassidy Oval in Wyndham.


Page reviewed 27 February 2023