Sunshine Coast attracts 2016 national AFL schools event
  • Friday 13 November 2015

The Sunshine Coast is fast becoming the capital of Australian Rules Football with today’s announcement Queensland School Sport will host the School Sport Australia 2016 Combined Australian Football National Championship from July 23 to July 30 at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex.

Tourism Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said the Sunshine Coast is privileged to host such a prestigious event which has a rich history spanning over 85 years.

“Riding on the back of six AFL clubs committing to pre-season camps over summer, today’s announcement of hundreds of national level school children and their families heading to the Coast in 2016 is fantastic,” Cr O’Pray said.

“The School Sport Australia 2016 Australian Football Championships will incorporate the 86th Australian Schoolboys 15 and Under Championship, the 45th Boys 12 and Under Championship and the 6th Schoolgirls 15 and Under Championship. Queensland School Sport is working closely with AFL Queensland and Maroochydore Junior and Senior AFL Clubs in order to make this event the best one yet.

“This means in total a couple of thousand students, teachers, team officials and parents will be staying in our hotels, dining at our restaurants, buying food at our shops, visiting our tourist attractions ─ so the economic, sporting and social benefits for our region are enormous.

“While here I hope the participants and their families get to experience the very best of what the Sunshine Coast has to offer from our beautiful beaches to the Hinterland.”

Division 7 Councillor Ted Hungerford said the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex is a significant facility that contributes strongly to the region’s sport and recreation network.

“The significant improvements that have been rolled out since the adoption of the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex Master Plan 2013 – 2028 have helped attract national sporting events of this calibre,” Cr Hungerford said.

“We are starting to reap the rewards with the sporting fraternity now choosing the Sunshine Coast due to our high standard of facilities, our climate and natural environment and the overall experience that our beautiful region can offer.”

Department of Education and Training, North Coast Region, Regional Director, Ms Tracy Corsbie said the Sunshine Coast was a great choice for the 2016 School Sport Australia Combined Australian Football National Championship for many reasons.

“The Sunshine Coast has everything to offer the interstate competitors ─ from the mild winter climate to sporting facilities of the highest level.

“It is fantastic to see the return of the Championships to the Sunshine Coast. In 2009 the first 16 years and under Girls Invitational competition was played between Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia in Maroochydore.

“I would also like to add, it is not to be under-estimated the value to students who are selected to represent their state or territory at these championships.

“Many young students who have played in past competitions have gone on to become successful footballers or umpires at the elite level, while many more are continuing to enjoy the sport as players and umpires at local clubs.”