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School Sport Australia (SSA) wishes to advise that from 2020 the age group of the SSA Australian Football Boys and Girls Championships for the older age group will change from 15 Years & Under to 14 Years & Under. The decision has been made after consultation with the Australian Football League (AFL) who were keen to implement a two year difference to their Under 16 and Under 18 pathways.
SSA is very aware of its responsibilities towards students to avoid overloading them with respect to their Australian Football commitments so we are in agreeance with the AFL on their request. SSA recognised the workloads for students aged fifteen years were potentially becoming excessive, particularly for those highly talented students participating in the SSA program at the same time as being a bottom age player in the AFL programs. When this was combined with demands on students also participating in their school’s sporting and their community Australian Football competitions it was indeed quite a simple decision to change the age group.
One of our key discussion items with the AFL is supporting the cohort of students who would normally have participated in SSA’s 15 Years & Under Championship in 2020. The AFL has indicated they will offer alternative opportunities to this group of players and we are currently working through this with them. SSA looks forward to continuing its close relationship with the AFL in implementing a program for these players for 2020.
It is noted that the 12 Years & Under Championship will continue with an aim to have both boys’ and girls’ championships introduced as soon as possible.
For further information on this matter please contact your State or Territory’s School Sport Office. Contact details are available on the SSA website at: /http://www.schoolsportaustralia.edu.au/stateterritory-school-sport-offices/.