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What impact will a GWS flag have on Canberra?

By Tim Gavel 12 September 2018 12
GWS Giants

Interest in AFL can’t be entirely attributed to the success of GWS but it is playing a significant role.

When GWS are in Canberra, the Manuka precinct turns orange as supporters mill in anticipation.

That is the most visible image of the impact the Giants are having on Canberra.

Venture into other areas of the ACT and the work performed by GWS development officers is starting to pay dividends. Over the past four years, the growth in juniors has been around 5.5 per cent while the senior’s growth is a steady two per cent.

Much of the significant growth in the juniors can be put down to the number of girls taking up the sport at the youth level. This can largely be attributed to the exposure gained through the AFLW.

Not only is there a visible image of senior girls’ playing in front of decent crowds on television, but there is also now a pathway, which was previously non-existent.

This year, the growth in women playing led to the introduction of a women’s Division 2 competition. But the growth isn’t confined to the women’s competitions.

There has also been a surge in interest in local competitions as evidenced by around 3,000 spectators turning out on Sunday for the AFL Canberra grand finals at Manuka.

Interest in AFL can’t be entirely attributed to the success of GWS but it is playing a significant role. The Giants’ presence in the schools with four development officers is paying dividends.

Garry Lawless is the Community Football manager in Canberra. He says, “The AFL community has bought into the Giants.”

The thinking behind this is that through numbers of young supporters being exposed to GWS as their first team, a lifetime commitment will develop, especially if the side is successful in those formative years.

There have been a few false starts with AFL over the years with Fitzroy and North Melbourne, but it would appear those days are long gone.

With GWS currently negotiating an extension of their current 10-year deal with the ACT Government, there is a sense of optimism within the AFL Canberra community.


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12 Responses to
What impact will a GWS flag have on Canberra?
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bikhet 9:30 am 12 Sep 18

With any luck it would make it uneconomical for GWS to play games in Canberra and, as a result, the ACT government could spend the money on improving participation in sport rather than on spectator sport.

    JC 7:10 pm 12 Sep 18

    Every thought there is a correlation between the two?

Rollersk8r 11:52 am 12 Sep 18

It’s a 20 to 30 year project to build generations of Giants supporters, which they have always said from the start. Membership figures and on-field performances are both extremely encouraging to date. As a junior coach it’s great to see so many of our kids wearing orange and getting along to games in Canberra and Sydney. Go Giants!

Lauren Melksham 12:59 pm 12 Sep 18

Hopefully a renovation of Manuka oval.

Capital Retro 1:41 pm 12 Sep 18

“What impact will a GWS flag have on Canberra?”

More financial punishment for the thousands of Canberra ratepayers who have no interest in the ongoing funding of a professional sporting team that don’t even have any resident Canberrans playing for them. What a joke.

    twiggy6 3:18 pm 12 Sep 18

    Lol the captain was born and raised in Canberra.

    Capital Retro 6:58 pm 12 Sep 18

    He still lives here?

    Rollersk8r 3:58 pm 12 Sep 18

    Oh the poor ratepayers! Remind me how much the ratepayers are spending on light rail? And what proportion of Canberra residents, at absolute best, it will service?? Yes, the pocket change being spent on securing top level AFL in Canberra is a real issue…

    Capital Retro 7:04 pm 12 Sep 18

    According to the government the ratepayers are contributing nothing to the cost of the light rail. You know, PPP, urban renewal, asset recycling and value added. They said the business case was a winner and the sheep voted for it.

    Where is the business case for forking out $700k to GWS everytime they play a game here?

Andrew Bell 1:04 pm 13 Sep 18

The Manuka factor is very important for GWS. Their other ground has yet to be filled, even for a Preliminary Final.

While my loyalties lie with the Bulldogs, I believe the Giants ties to Canberra need to be tightened. The promise of a final here is a MUST for a new deal.

Michael McDonald 8:53 pm 13 Sep 18

#GiantCountry

Ona Marto 8:00 am 14 Sep 18

Maybe the Canberra radio stations might actually talk about them in the sports news reports instead of always being Raiders news.

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