THE Griffith AFLW competition’s first season came to a close on Thursday night in front of a packed crowd at Exies No 1.
Livefit’s Matt Kenny said it was great to see the idea from one of his staff members be greeted with such success.
“One of my staff members over at livefit who is really into sport, Lauren Marshall,” he said.
“She said to me I'd love to have a women's competition in Griffith and as soon as she said that it turned to lights on and we decided to get a comp started with eighty players and six teams.”
Kenny said there was already interest being shown in the next season of the competition.
“People have been raving about the competition they want to have one start again early next year which would be a bit difficult, and it would be a bit hot, but we just have people coming out of the woodwork that want to come and play women's AFL,” he said.
“If it wasn't for the opportunity the Griffith Swans gave for us to do this it wouldn't have happened, so it is just fantastic.”
The success of the competition comes off the back of the AFL releasing statistics showing the impact women have had growing the spot in the past 12 months.
Southern NSW AFL enjoyed a 46 per cent increase in participants in dedicated female clubs, while a 14 per cent increase in AFL 9s participation was also recorded.
Auskick enjoyed a five per cent increase, while there was a three per cent increase in total participation across Southern NSW AFL.
The statistics were part of strong numbers recorded across the ball in NSW with club participation growing eight per cent across the state.
Game Development Coordinator for AFL Southern NSW Che Jenkins felt the success of the competition shows the impact women are having on the sport.
“There has been an interest in women's footy right across the state and the country at the moment,” he said.
“It is important that the first one that we ran was run properly, and it is something that can be run again.
“I think it has been a real success. There has been a lot of work and a lot of planning into since it is the first one that has ever been run I think it has been a big success.”
Jenkins said the success of the competition could also have positive impacts at club level as well.
“It's a good sign for club footy and community football as well to be able to have that offering that doesn't clash with their traditional winter season,” he said.
“It obviously attracts potentially a lot of new people to the club, and you can see tonight from the amount of people that have supported it just testament to it.”