Development Committee Spotlight - June 2018

With over 1500 men’s and women’s players across 40 clubs nationwide, the strength of the USAFL is definitely its clubs.   A key challenge for clubs has been achieving sustainable growth with obstacles such as travel distances and costs often making it difficult to sustain operations and build player numbers.

In 2018, The USAFL Development Committee was formed to build a plan and start facilitating Development across the League.  This Committee's goals are to increase participation, quality and safety of Australian Football played in the USA by improving the knowledge and application of running a football club in the USAFL.  

To achieve this we need to determine the current state and club needs across the League before helping establish resources and networks between clubs for sharing structure, best practices and lessons learnt that enable success.

The Development Committee is made up of 12 members from across the League:

Nana Coleman, Des Moines (Central)
Tegan Hamilton, Seattle Grizzlies (West)
Chris Shee, Quebec Saints (Canada)
Alex Mirakian, Oklahoma Football Club (Central)
Lauren Skonieczny, New York Magpies (East)
Tyler Ames, Denver Bulldogs (Central)
Mark Levin, Golden Gate (West)
Meg Leone, San Francisco Iron Maidens (West)
Toby Persson, USAFL Umpires Association
Adrian Beatty, Dallas Magpies (Central)
Dave Bryant (co-chair), Houston Lonestars (Central)
Heather Serpico (co-chair), Portland (West)

As an initial step, the Committee developed a framework which resulted in 5 focal areas from which sub-committees were formed:

- Recruitment
- Branding
- Coaching
- Safety
- Club Management

Focus on these areas is seen as critical to achieving the overall Development goals.

We are currently engaging clubs and recently sent a survey to all USAFL club presidents which will be followed by individual club calls to understand the status of each club and define their development strengths and needs. Through June and July, the Development Committee members will make contact with club Presidents or Board members for individual discussions.  CLUB PRESIDENTS still yet to complete the survey are asked to fill it out as soon as possible as this will help prioritize Development Committee efforts and really provide development assistance where it is needed. ALL players in the League are encouraged to provide their input via their club President or Board.

Dave Bryant & Heather Serpico
Co-Chairs, USAFL Development Committee

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