The South Metro Junior Football League is celebrating the success of its ‘Football 4 Fun’ program, sponsored by league Major Partner Monash University.
The Football 4 Fun program saw football return to metropolitan Melbourne, with over 2,500 players participating in the program at no cost to clubs and players.
With 460 games scheduled across five venues encompassing 227 teams, the program was a resounding success, with kids of the league returning to football after a long lockdown period across metropolitan Melbourne.
SMJFL Chief Executive Officer Sarah Loh said it was great to see the league’s players return to football throughout the program.
“It has been heart-warming to see the kids of our league be active once more over the past four weeks. We have seen first-hand the impact the pandemic and multiple lockdown periods have had on the kids of Victoria, and we are so glad the SMJFL has been able to provide football in 2020 with the assistance of our LGAs, corporate and community partners.”
“Thank you also to our member clubs for assisting the league in implementing AFL Victoria’s Return to Play protocols and ensuring a COVID-Safe environment throughout the program.”
Executive Manager of VicHealth Kirstan Corben spoke to SMJFL media at the launch of Football 4 Fun and spoke highly of the program’s format.
“VicHealth has been working for a long time with sports partners to create alternative formats of sport… We know there are many people in the population for who traditional sport doesn’t meet all of their needs.
What we’re seeing today with Football 4 Fun, we’re seeing 10 a side, short matches, less competitiveness in terms of scoring – its exactly what we love to see, particularly for kids. Its fantastic.”
Levi Bloomfield from Dingley JFC, 9, said he loved the chance to get back to playing football in 2020.
“I loved getting back into footy season. Its just a fun game, lots of fun games to play. I like it.”
Levi’s brother Harrison, 11, said he loved the social aspect of the game.
“Most of my friends that I have are in Dingley (JFC) and whenever I come to play I look forward to seeing them,” he said.
“You get to play with your friends and [football is] a very good way to stay fit.”
The league wishes to thank long-term Major Sponsor Monash University for making the Football 4 Fun program possible.
Thank you also to AFL Victoria, Bayside City Council, Kingston City Council, Port Philip City Council, Stonnington City Council, Sandringham Zebras Football Club and St Kilda Football Club for providing the venues for the program and ensuring the program did not conflict or interfere with summer sports venues.
The league is already deep in preparation for its traditional season format to return in April for the 2021 SMJFL season.