Your guide  to AFL South Africa

footyWILD is a breathtaking sport

Australian Rules Football or “footy” as it is affectionately known Down Under, is Australia’s premier football code attracting an average of 40,000 spectators to every game, every week.

With the continued support of the Australian Football League (AFL), and with up to 40,000 boys and girls participating in its grass roots program, footyWILD Big 5, AFL South Africa (AFLSA) is well positioned to grow the game in this country.

footyWILD activities include an extensive introductory skill development program for Primary school boys and girls providing a pathway to High School and Open age competitions in the local community.

With the right partner, the opportunity exists to re-establish the footyWILD talent pathway, leading to the SA Lions competing at the AFL’s International Cup in Australia every 3 years.

AFL South Africa welcomes new partners to a sport that is making positive social change to communities in need. Join us today and play your part in the new game that roars!

Clients Testimonials

What People Say About Us

This is such an incredible gym with knowledgeable and educated coaches. Each coach took their time to help each and every athlete in class. The atmosphere was motivating and everyone was very friendly!
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I used to go to the gym and do the same thing all the time - weights, cardio and classes. I got bored doing the same thing. Then I found Cross Zone and every workout is different, even if certain workouts are incorporated.
Andrew Priston

1997 – 1998

  • Exhibition match played in Cape Town at Newlands Cricket Ground. Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle Dockers attracting 10,000 spectators.
  • Australian soldiers visiting Mafikeng (North West) conducted footy clinics for the first time.

2003 – 2004

  • Footy South Africa registered as a company and becomes affiliated with AFL in 2004

2005 – 2006

  • First ever AFL grant of $AUD 60k helped employed four local employees based in Potchefstroom, North West. Participation ±5000
  • Inaugural Flying Boomerangs Indigenous Youth tour of South Africa – 3 games played against SA Lions (2006)

2007 – 2008

  • AFL investment increased to $AUD600k pa (approx. R3.5m) with Footy South Africa re-branded as AFL South Africa
  • footyWILD brand & concept launched to differentiate the game from rugby & soccer
  • Program expanded to four Provinces (North West, Western Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal & Gauteng
  • First AIS / AFL Academy U17 tour of South Africa to play against SA Lions national team.
  • Four AFL Clubs adopt a Province each – Fremantle (NW), Collingwood (WC), West Coast Eagles (KZN) & Carlton (Gauteng)
  • First major sponsor secured, Australian company Costa Logistics
  • AFL Exhibition game – Fremantle v Carlton at Supersport Park, Centurion (sponsored by ARTH) Attendance ±5000
  • First AFLSA National Championships held in Potchefstroom (sponsored by Grandslots)
  • SA Lions finish 3rd in 2008 AFL International Cup (Melbourne, Australia)

2009 – 2012

  • More than a dozen inbound tours from Australia by schools, clubs and AFL-endorsed programs
  • First SA player from footyWILD program recruited to AFL structure – Bayanda Sobetwa, Khayelitsha to Greater Western Sydney
  • SA player exchange – players hosted at West Perth FC (Western Australia, 2008), South Launceston FC (Tasmania) and Jamestown FC (South Aust, 2011)

2013 – 2018

  • Program consolidated with Participation growth from 19165 unique participants to 34752
  • SA Lions competed at International Cups in 2014 and 2017

2019 – late 2021

  • In March 2020, operations were shut down completely due to COVID-19
  • AFL funding for all International affiliates was reduced significantly, and at the end of the 2020 season,
  • AFLSA staff levels were reduced from 22, down to a skeletal structure
  • The program only resumed in August 2021 when it was safe to do so, but with a scaled back operational structure in line with reduced budget
  • Program streamlined from four Provinces down to the original Province (North West) with a view to scaling back up when circumstances allowed

Late 2021 – 2022

  • In the wake of COVID, and with the support of Australian Government, AFLSA was well-positioned to re-introduce the footyWILD program as a safe activity for Primary school boys & girls in the North West (safety protocols were introduced including PPE, teachers were engaged)
  • As a result, footyWILD was actively embraced as an in-school activity by the North West Dept of Education for the first time (prior to this, it was always run after school)
  • This new approach provided access to far more boys and girls than was previously possible, enabling participation growth to re-emerge, despite the much smaller footprint

2023 & beyond

  • Re-introduce Youth football program through township High Schools
  • Re-establish Senior football for community teams

Find partners to support and re-establish the following key areas:

  1. footyWILD Big 5 – mass participation program
  2. Talent outcomes including SA Lions at the AFL International Cup

North West  Province

Where is the game being played today?

Current focus on North West Province with future plans to recommence programs in Gauteng, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Western Cape, subject to available funding

Current Footprint

North West Province Centres (distance in relation to AFLSA base, Potchefstroom)

  1. Vryburg (262kms)
  2. Letlhabile (206kms)
  3. Mafikeng (199kms)
  4. Mogwase (199kms)
  5. Lomanyaneng (198kms)
  6. Ledig (188kms)
  7. Itsoseng (168kms)
  8. Phokeng (160kms)
  9. Tlhabane (151kms)
  10. Khuma (34kms)
  11. Ikageng – 1 (8.3kms)
  12. Ikageng – 2 (8.3kms)