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Wondering what an Auskick session could be like? These footy stories will get you started before arriving for all the fun.

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While many young people enjoy success in sport, for most young people, the benefits and reasons for playing are much wider. For example:

  • Attending Auskick can support young people’s mental health (eg. anxiety) and motor abilities (eg. aiming and catching abilities).
  • Their interest in sport connects them to other people in the community and can provide an opportunity to develop friendships with peers who have similar interests.
  • The routine of sports training and recreational lessons, and the presence of a supervising adult can provide a supportive framework for all young people to socialise.
  • Young people who engage in regular exercise are healthier, sleep better and can even concentrate better on school work.
  • Sport and recreation activities can help them develop important life skills, learn to set their own goals and develop a different side of their identity.
    Auskick is all about having fun!

Learning how to play footy can take a little bit of time for young people to become familiar with, especially if they haven’t played before. Some ways you can support your child to understand and join in include:

  • Finding the best way for coaches, other parents and players to communicate with your child. For some young people, this means using shorter instructions, using visual prompts such as signs and pictures, or repeating instructions. These communication strategies are likely to help other young people in the group too, so parents should not feel awkward about asking adults to use these.
  • The AllPlay Footy footy stories can be used at home to help young people become familiar with footy.
  • You could speak to the coach about having a buddy or helper to help your child participate in activities during sessions.

Participation may need to start slowly to support a young person with overcoming anxiety about moving out of comfortable routines. Creating a plan to gradually introduce your child to footy may help.

  • You could start by reading the AllPlay Footy footy stories with your child at home to become familiar with what happens at Auskick.
  • You and your child could visit the footy field where they will play Auskick before starting the program. You could also arrange for your child to meet the coach before the first session. This can help to introduce your child to the new environment.
  • Choice of activity is important. Consider talking to your child’s coach about other ways your child can be involved at footy (eg. umpire) if they do not wish to always participate as a player. It’s important to keep in mind that some young people might find it more rewarding to challenge themselves in individual activities, rather than be part of a group. For these young people, recreation activities that are individually based, such as running, dancing or swimming, may suit.

A positive attitude from the coach, good policies about bullying and the support of other parents and young people can go a long way to helping young people feel safe and included. The AFL have policies in place including the Player Code of Behaviour, Parents / Carers and Spectators Code of Conduct and the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy to support this. If you have concerns that you would like to raise, you can contact Auskick Support on 1800 7529 235 or

AllPlay Footy is a joint initiative by Monash University and the AFL. AllPlay Footy was founded at Deakin University in 2015 and has been part of Monash Education since 2021. The AllPlay Footy content and resources presented here have been developed with people with lived experience of disability, consultants from National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability, psychologists and researchers, and are brought to you with funding from a Department of Social Services Information, Linkages and Capacity Building: Social and Community Participation Stream (2020-2021) grant. We aim to use language that is respectful to everyone.
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