AFL Vanuatu is one sport that has been working behind closed curtains trying to grow their sport in the country.
From kids community programme to U15, U17 competitions, disability programme which were all part of the package of developing the programme.
AFL Vanuatu Programme Manager Nancy Patterson deserves to be recognized with all the effort and dedication she has contributed towards the sport as she tries to move the sport forward with all its programme alongside her dedicated development officers.
Ms Patterson’s passion for AFL is remarkable.
AFL Vanuatu was established to administer and develop the game of Australian Rules football within Vanuatu.
History of AFL Vanuatu
Australian Rules Football has been played in Vanuatu for as long as there has been Australian expats in country and our President, Mr David Beauchamp , remembers playing ex-pat teams at Kawenu Field in the 1980s when he visited Vanuatu as a member of the Royal Australian Navy.
AFL Vanuatu was formed in 2009 in order to align ourselves with the AFL as part of their AFL South Pacific Office which administers the AFL programs throughout the Pacific. AFL is played in over 51 countries all over the world and in 2014 , 25 countries played in the AFL International Cup in Melbourne. Australian.
AFL Vanuatu Programme
AFL Vanuatu has a volunteer committee and employs one full time program Manager and numerous part time staff.AFL Vanuatu run a number of programs and competitions in Port Vila and Luganville including;
- Pikinini kik in the community for 5 to 12 years old children
- Pikinini kik in school programs in primary schools
- High school U15 and U17 competitions for men and women.
- Senior competition for men and Women
- Fresh wota Disability inclusion program — we are very proud of our inclusive AFL disability program.
- Pikinini kik with the special needs class at Fresh wota Billingual school — This program started in 2017 with the support of Miss.Jessica Richardson, Equity and inclusion Officer at VASANOC. This program ran regularly during school terms from 2017 until 2021.Participants numbers grew with the class size.
In 2020 there were 30 plus children with disability regularly attending Pikinini kik sessions with the AFL Development officers.
In 2020, AFL Vanuatu announced and International Community Partnership with AFL Hunter Central coast in NSW that will facilitate the promotion of Vanuatu as their PREMUIM AFL sports tourism destination in the PACIFIC ISLANDS for their regional clubs and teams and also providing opportunities for our players and officials to engage with Australian based clubs (obviously affected by COVID but still in place)
Over all total of Participants involving in the AFL programs is 3,000 plus Participants.
The challenge that AFL is Facing is to have our own Oval(Field).
We are looking forward and hopping for some supports from the Vanuatu government to have a future oval that will continue to occupy our exciting programs.
AFL Vanuatu future partnership
AFLVanuatu is now looking forward to be partner with ﹰVanuatu woman ﹰCenter (VWC) and working on the release of the very exciting “PLEI FOOTY BLO Jenis Program in 2022.
This program is funded by the Australian government through APSP.
It’s about time for these minor sports to be recognized and be supported as this will benefit future leaders of Vanuatu tomorrow.
Till Next Saturday!