AFL Victoria pledges to financially support local interleague competitions

After abandoning the Community Championships, AFL Victoria is putting its money where its mouth is, committing the same amount of cash used for the championships to help leagues pursue their own representative ventures in 2020.

It was announced last week that AFL Victoria is scrapping its state-wide interleague football program next year after an annual review, instead encouraging leagues to organise their own interleague programs.

The championships were an opt-in program where leagues would field football, and often netball teams, made up of the best players within a league, regardless of home clubs to do battle with others from around Victoria with the aim to move up the state ranking ladder.

AFL Victoria revealed in a statement on Wednesday that of the clubs who responded to the review, more than two thirds asked that the program “not continue in its current form at a senior level”.

“AFL Victoria wishes to advise that after a review of the current program and feedback from clubs and leagues across the state, AFL Victoria will not facilitate the Community Championships in 2020 while it undergoes various changes,” the statement read.

“Of the clubs and leagues that responded to the review, 70 percent requested that the format be reviewed and not continue in its current form at a senior level.

“The decision not to facilitate the 2020 Community Championships was based on the feedback from clubs and leagues across the state and AFL Victoria will continue to consult with stakeholders around the future of the Community Championships and representative football to ensure the best structure is provided.”

Many leagues, like the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football Netball League and the Bendigo Football Netball League, have committed to following their own interleague journey and are now guaranteed financial assistance from the state football body.

“In lieu of the Community Championships in 2020, interleague football in Victoria will go ahead at the choice of the leagues as to where, when and who they play, providing an opportunity for leagues to participate in local interleague rivalries, all of which AFL Victoria will continue to financially support,” Wednesday’s statement continued.

For more on this story see the Back Page of The Advertiser, Friday, November 22


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