Sports Programs Resources | Football

Kimberley Football
Australian Rules Football competitions have been played in Broome for over 80 years – in Kununurra and Wyndham since the mid 1970s, Halls Creek since the mid 1980s and Derby and Fitzroy Crossing since the early 1990s. Football in the Kimberley is now the largest and most participated in sport and is played in all corners of the region.

At a senior level three football leagues, involving 24 teams, play every Saturday in town’s right across the Kimberley. Every weekend in the dry season, more than 500 senior players take to the football fields either playing in the West, Central or East Kimberley Football Leagues. The West Kimberley League also boasts a colt’s competition that was established in 2011.

Broome also has a vibrant junior football network including three junior and one youth competition. Kununurra, Derby and Halls Creek also have developing junior football competitions. The Auskick program in the Kimberley captures the new participants to the game. Across thirty Auskick centres in the Kimberley region, over a thousand Kimberley kids aged 5-9 years are kicking footballs and learning new skills through structured programs every year. Football is also very strongly represented in the education system with most schools in the Kimberley delivering football programs and taking part in school based competitions.

The highlight for many remote communities is still the annual Garnduwa Festival held in Fitzroy Crossing in October, which draws 16 teams from those remote communities across the Kimberley and some years from the Pilbara.

From 2000 to 2008 football development programs in the Kimberley were delivered by Garnduwa who employed the regions first Football Development Officer in Eric Wade. Most of the Auskick centres, junior and youth football competitions and talent programs that exist now are the result of Eric’s tireless work and his contribution to football in the region has been recognised by his induction into the Garnduwa Hall of Fame.

In 2008 Garnduwa, the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) and the Australian Football League (AFL) forged an exciting and visionary partnership which not only saw Garnduwa continue to this day in the delivery of the regions football development and talent programs, with WAFC and AFL support, but also the introduction of an Indigenous employment strategy in the football industry.
At the same time, and in association with the WAFC, Garnduwa also assisted establish the Kimberley Football Association (KFA), which now oversees the direction of football development in the region and its board is representative of the key local stakeholders across the Kimberley.

The pathways and opportunities for talented Kimberley footballers continue to improve and Kimberley players are now making their mark at the highest level, with many of them being drafted to and playing for AFL clubs as well as a host of players playing with Claremont Football Club in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) with whom the Kimberley is zoned. Kimberley players have also enjoyed great success playing in the Northern Territory Football League during the WAFL off-season.