Contributed by: Harley Vague Friday, October 01 2021 @ 01:26 pm ACST
Due to a lot of targeted work over a number of years AFL Canada Australian Football is now an official Canadian sport.
After a lengthy application and verification process, AFL Canada has been approved as a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletics Association (RCAAA). This is a milestone in Australian Football in Canada and brings with it many benefits not just prestige. This qualification opens AFL Canada up to receipted donations and official funding amongst other things. Whilst Australian Football is already played in some Canadian schools this ruling should enhance the possibilities.
This RCAAA approval could potentially leverage even greater gains for AFL Canada in the near future. On this subject, the political recognition side of football is rarely discussed but usually is very important. Each country is different in it's requirements, but usually, to secure any sporting benefits a sporting organisation must have a national body. Some countries also require a world body in that sport. (Whilst the AFL is the keeper of the code it is not the world body).
On the local level, we are beginning to see the first signs of dedicated playing grounds due to the hard work of members and volunteers Also there are examples of football events partially funded by local authorities. It is imperative that sporting organisations have the highest "political" profile possible along with their sporting and community profile.
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AFL Canada was established in May 1989 when two clubs were formed and played in the inaugural Conacher Cup game in Toronto, Ontario.
Since its launch into Canada, the game of Australian Football has expanded to include:
AFL British Columbia (11 clubs): Burnaby Eagles, Seattle Grizzlies, Vancouver-Whistler Hawks, Vancouver Cougars, Victoria Sharks, West Coast Saints, Vancouver Vixens, West Coast Wildcats, North Delta Junior AFL, Vernon Roosters, Penticton Bombers
AFL Alberta (7 clubs): Edmonton AFC, Bow Valley Bisons, Calgary Kangaroos, Calgary Kookaburras, Fort McMurray AFC, University of Calgary AFC, AFL Alberta
AFL Saskatchewan (2 programs): ED Feehnam, GSCS
AFL Manitoba (1 club): Winnipeg Bears
AFL Ontario (13 clubs): Hamilton Wildcats, Grand River Gargoyles, Etobicoke Kangaroos, Toronto Dingos, Toronto Rebels, Toronto Eagles, Central Blues, High Park Demons, Broadview Hawks, Ottawa Swans, Barrie Giants, Kingston AFC, Forest City Crows and Aussie X
AFL Quebec (9 clubs): Laval Bombers, Montreal Demons, Old Montreal Dockers, West Island Wooders, NDG Giants, Plateau Eagles, Montreal City Blues, Quebec City, Sherbrooke Kangaroos
AFL Nova Scotia (2 clubs): Halifax Dockers, Sydney Giants
AFL Newfoundland (2 clubs): St John Puffins, Goose Bay