Although the weather mightn’t show it, Perth is moving towards Winter sports season.

Cue all three codes of Football (Soccer, AFL and Rugby), bring on the Netball and Hockey as well.

So parents, before your children are kicking goals on the MCG or making the move from NRL to the NFL, where do they start? We are here to examine the junior programs supported by the professional sporting codes.

AFL – Auskick

There are 438,000 young Australians getting up early on a Saturday morning, pulling on their black and blue strip and getting involved in Auskick.

A game designed around giving everyone a go while they learn the rules and have fun with their friends. In their own words Auskick sets out to:


- Ensure a fun and safe environment

- Maximise participation, skill learning and development

- Offer rules and procedures appropriate to the children involved

- Involve appropriately accredited coaches

- Provide a logical, sequential transition from introductory level through to competitions at clubs and/or schools

- Be managed by the community


Parents, if you’re worried about the physicality of elite AFL, rest assured Auskick is a safe and friendly environment to introduce your child to the wonderful world of AFL, they even give you a Football when you register to help your superstar evolve.

If you’re interested in Auskick, you can find your closest center here.


Soccer - Miniroos

The biggest participation sport in the world is also the fastest growing sport in Australia. With the International team Socceroo’s making a splash on the international stage, kids across the country are being inspired to get involved.

The Miniroos program has three stages. The Kick off program for ages 4 – 9, club football for 5 – 11 year olds and they have a dedicated Women’s program called for girls.

Each program encourages players of all skill levels to learn the fundamentals of the “world game”. Supported by the Football Federation Australia (FFA). With the primary goal to “further grow participation in the game and convert participants to fans” this is another safe and fun way to start your child’s love of Soccer.

One real plus for soccer is its ability to become a single person game in the backyard. Soccer shoot outs and the steel framed goal produce hours of entertainment as your kids hone their Tim Cahill skills.

Rugby League – Mini and Mod Rugby League

Arguably the most physical of all sports in this review, it certainly is exciting. Parents we encourage you not to shy away from the sport because of the physicality shown on the professional stage. The fitness, strength and ball skills developed through Rugby League have lifelong benefits.

Kids start their rugby league journeys in a very safe and protected program. It is effectively touch rugby, no tackling or hard hitting scrums. The rules are loosened to encourage fun and enhance skill development.

If Rugby is a sport your child is showing a keen interest in, the safest way to encourage their love of the sport is to start them early.


Hockey – Hookin2Hockey, formerly Minckey

Hookin2Hockey has been developed for kids aged below 10 to have fun and learn the game of hockey. Hockey relies so much on hand eye coordination, a vital lifelong skill for any sport.


The programs run for 4 – 10 weeks, with children experiencing:

- A fun environment in which to learn the game of hockey

- Meeting new friends and enjoy the positive social experience of being part of a team

- A pathway to club based competition and competitive hockey

- Being introduced to an internationally renowned sport played in over 116 countries


If hockey is your son or daughter’s game, download the guide for everything you need to know about Hookin2Hockey.

Netball - ANZ NetSetGo

Right up there as one of the countries biggest participation sports, the NetSetGo netball program provides an opportunity for boys and girls to develop their love of Netball.

Proudly supported by Netball Australia, the program is coordinated by accredited coaches to ensure a quality experience for all.

Start your netball obsession via the comprehensive NetSetGo website.

Australians love their sport and it certainly starts early. The professional sporting organisations play a fantastic role in promoting active kids and a love of team sports. While our list above isn’t extensive it shows the many opportunities available to young Australians throughout the winter months.


Your Challenge

Our challenge for all parents is to support and encourage the love of any sports. Sport allows you to bond with your children and get both you and them up, out the door and engaging with the community.

If you need more information or want to share your story, please do via our hashtag #KidsOffCouches or leave us a message on our Facebook page.