AFL Investment fund re-launched to boost community footy in Victoria
The AFL has re-launched the Strategic Community Investment Fund (SCIF) as part of the league’s commitment to community football in Victoria.
The SCIF program, originally launched in early 2020 but put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is available to community football clubs, leagues and regions across Victoria to apply for support funding.
The SCIF will provide grant funding of $1.5m per year for the next three years directly to local football leagues and clubs. The fund is part of the $18 million investment into Victorian community football announced by the AFL in September 2019, the largest investment in community football in the state in more than two decades.
Former Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks AC will Chair an independent Advisory Board. The Board will include representatives from across community football and will provide recommendations to the AFL to manage the allocation of funding.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said the fund will focus on supporting clubs in need to drive participation and ensure clubs are able to attract new players to their clubs, something that has taken on extra meaning after community football was mostly cancelled across Victoria in 2020.
“Local football clubs bring people together, are often the heartbeat of their communities and we know how important they are for so many people,” Mr McLachlan said.
“After the year we have had in Victoria, getting behind community football is more important than ever and this program helps to ensure clubs not only survive but thrive.
“Whether it’s a club or league program that engages and encourages participation across diverse communities, or a club which has ambitions to grow membership or a club that needs help in tough times, we hope this fund will be able to directly assist them.”
Advisory Committee Chair Steve Bracks AC said, “This is a great initiative for community football in Victoria and I’m honoured to be able to chair the Advisory Board and be in a position to directly assist local clubs and leagues.”
“This fund will provide great assistance to community football at all levels and assist in continuing to drive participation and growing the next generation of players, umpires and coaches.”
Interested applicants should review the SCIF guidelines in detail to determine their project’s eligibility. Click here to view.
Applications are open and can be made via the online application form at the following link: https://aflvic.smartygrants.com.au/SCIF.
The SCIF is a key pillar of the Victorian Community Football Initiative and is in addition to the AFL Community Relief Fund established to support local communities in fire affected areas.