AFL SportsReady turns 20: 1994 to 2014

AFL SportsReady turns 20: 1994 to 2014

AFL SportsReady turns 20: 1994 to 2014


“Celebrate our history, share our future” was the theme of AFL SportsReady’s anniversary lunch held at the MCG on the 14th November.  The event marked 20

develop careers through employment and education and honoured the founding fathers of the organisation.

Two decades ago, Kevin Sheedy AM, Ian Collins AM, Bill Kelty AC, the Hon Simon Crean MP, Phil Walbridge, Ron Evans and the AFL founded the company. The aim was to provide education and training to support footballers to prepare for the next career steps at the end of their playing days, since then the organisation has evolved and has supported over 12,000 young Australians and the wider community, especially Indigenous Australians.

The 20th anniversary lunch was a chance to bring together all of our partners who have contributed so much to the success of the company and its many achievements in Vocational Education and Training.

To find out more about AFL SportsReady’s programs and success stories, visit or watch the history and achievements in the infographic of the company’s 20 year timeline below:

20 Year Video Thumb

AFL SportsReady’s achievements (1994 – 2014), include:


  • 12,000 young people have commenced a traineeship with AFL SportsReady since 1994
  • 1,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander trainees have commenced  since 2000

AFL Industry

Through the AFL Finals Levy, the AFL has invested close to $10 million in AFL SportsReady over the past 20 years.

  • This funding has helped support over 2000 trainees start their careers working in the AFL Industry
  • Supported over 1000 AFL players complete traineeships
  • As well as a variety of other project roles supporting players transition from the game
  • SportsReady Education

SportsReady Education is now in its third year and delivers nationally recognised qualifications from Certificate II up to Diploma in areas including sport and recreation, and business and finance.

SportsReady Education has now supported over 1500 students across the country gain qualifications since 2012

There are currently  over 200 AFL players studying with us (1 in 4 of all currently listed AFL players

SportsReady Education has signed university partnerships in every state across Australia;

  • La Trobe University in VIC
  • Curtin University in WA
  • Griffith University in QLD
  • Flinders University in SA,
  • University of Tasmania in TAS
  • University of Canberra in Canberra 
  • University of Technology Sydney in NSW
  • These partnership offer students who study with us a unique opportunity to gain direct entry and credit towards a Bachelor Degree upon completion of their studies through SportsReady Education.

Indigenous Programs  

  • We are the largest Indigenous traineeship provider for the ANZ, NAB and Australia Post and also deliver traineeship services for CBA, Westpac and Telstra.
  • Since 2012 we have placed 50 Indigenous people through the Barrawarn program, a partnership with the Collingwood Football Club Foundation into either direct employment or a traineeship.
  • Over the last three years we have employed over 200 Indigenous trainees each year
  • Won the 2014 Victorian Aboriginal Education Association (VAEAI) Wurreker Award for best private RTO
  • In 2013 AFL Sportsready won a Northern Indigenous Employment Award which recognised our role in improving career opportunities for Indigenous young people in Melbourne

New Initiatives

  • AFL SportsReady is now delivering Cultural Awareness programs to partners, as well as Management courses in Leadership, Player Development and Football Administration.
  • Over 100 staff from YMCA Victoria are studying Certificate IV and Diploma courses with us, focussing on leadership and management skills.
  • Our partnership with the Collingwood Football Club Foundation has resulted in our National Office at Victoria Park having access to a new 50 seat lecture theatre, classroom facilities and a computer lab for our students as well as office space for 50 staff.


  • In 2013 AFL SportsReady launched ArtsReady and began delivering traineeships in the arts and creative industries across the ACT, Victoria and New South Wales, with a $3.4m investment from the Federal Government over four years.
  • Last month the program rolled out across Australia and is now available in Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia.

DATE: 17 November, 2014

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