Auskick is the Australian Football League's (AFL) introductory program specifically designed to recruit and harness the interest of primary or elementary school-aged children between the ages of 5-12 years. As an induction program, Auskick is underpinned by a philosophy that foregrounds involvement and enjoyment as foundational to a pathway to an ongoing affiliation with Australian Rules football. Getting young people to identify with Australian Rules football from early on is a strategic aspect of growing or sustaining the game. Within its charter of mass recruitment, Auskick is more about promoting an interest in football than it is about talent identification. Indeed, only a tiny minority of the more than 110,000 children that partake in the Auskick program in 2004 will go on to compete at the highest level. Drawing on over 200 interviews conducted with parents and children attending Auskick sessions, this paper presents an overview of some of the factors that influence initial participation in Australian Rules football. Among other things the authors ask participants how they intend to negotiate the behaviours and practices required to play a body contact sport like Australian Rules football.
Field of Research
130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
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