[personal profile] gdt

The AFL runs a football programme for kids. If you have a (a) 6 year old or (b) girl then don't bother. If you (a) and (b) then take her to netball instead.

This isn't about the qualities of the respective sports. I'm sure aussie rules could be adapted to young kids. This is about the aims of the sport's administrators and the quality of the events.

AusKick claims to have a programme for 6yos: that's a lie, they can go to training but can't play a game. Really motivating that! The training is a farce, the 6yos run around with 10yos; that is, small kids running with kids twice their speed and with a much better tactical sense. The small kids never get a look in.

Netball has teams by age: 6yo kids play 6yo kids. Yes, they are all hopeless. But they all get a chance to play and the nature of the game is that every position has to pass the ball. The emphasis of the coaches is that everyone gets to participate, everyone contributes as best they can.

I think the difference in the experince of the small kids comes straight from the aims of the adminstrators. The AFL is not interested in 6yos and it's not interested in girls -- it is the richest sport in Australia but also the only sport in Australia without a national women's competition. Netball's adminstrators just want to have kids playing the game. And this difference shows on the sportground on a weekday afternoon.

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Glen Turner

April 2017

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