AFL's Gather Round Brings Economic Hope as South Australia Faces Challenges in Healthcare and Education Sectors.

AFL's Gather Round Brings Economic Hope as South Australia Faces Challenges in Healthcare and Education Sectors.

AFL's Gather Round Brings Economic Hope as South Australia Faces Challenges in Healthcare and Education Sectors.

South Australians are facing challenges in healthcare and education, with less than a quarter of GP clinics offering bulk billing for a standard 15-minute adult consultation. On the other hand, in a state-first, childcare and early education heavyweights are teaming up to advocate for crucial reforms, while NDIS providers have been found guilty of overpricing and marking up costs across several industries, targeting people with disabilities.

Despite these concerns, the AFL's inaugural Gather Round event is expected to provide an injection of over $85 million into the South Australian economy, bringing hope for economic relief. The South Australian National Football League (SANFL) has expressed its delight that AFL Gather Round will continue until 2026, and commends the Malinauskas Government for securing the exclusive rights for the event for another three years.

According to SANFL CEO Darren Chandler, hosting Gather Round until 2026 will enhance all aspects of football in the state, such as participation, talent pathways, and facilities funding. He congratulates Premier Malinauskas and looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the state government and the AFL for the next three years, building on the success of the inaugural Gather Round.

To support the major event, SANFL and the eight SANFL clubs have implemented various initiatives to engage with participants and key stakeholders. These include 16 free clinics with AFL and SANFL players, a Gather Round Giveaway competition with over 6000 entries from registered football participants, and a Community Footy Roadshow that reached 5000 fans across the state.

Other initiatives include the National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors season launch, which attracted more than 2000 juniors/kids to the Festival of Footy live site in Elder Park, eight Torrens University SANFL U16s and U18s matches played in front of national recruiters, and coach development workshops at SANFL venues connecting 400 community coaches with AFL head coaches.

Moreover, 50 local governments attended the inaugural Festival of Facilities forum and tour of The Summit, Mt Barker, and a Community Club Development Day attended by almost 200 club and league volunteers, as well as live-streamed across the nation. Half-time Auskick experiences for approximately 800 boys and girls, umpire workshops and match day experiences connecting 500 community and junior umpires with elite AFL umpires, and 500 AFL Gather Round branded kits to schools in metropolitan Adelaide were also provided.

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