As we get closer to the AFL Grand Final it’s hard to avoid Australia’s ‘great game’, even if you’re not interested in Aussie rules football.

But there’s more than one AFL grand final happening this September. 

A sport truly for everyone

In 2018 the first ever statewide AFL Wheelchair competition was introduced in Victoria. Five clubs signed on – Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn, Richmond and St Kilda – creating the Victorian Wheelchair Football League (VWFL).

Unlike many other sports that have been adapted for people with disability, AFL Wheelchair is truly inclusive in that both people with, and without, disability are encouraged to take part.

The game is played between two teams of five on an indoor court divided into thirds. Portable goal posts mark each end of the ‘field’.

Same same, but different

Unlike traditional football, there is no kicking of the ball. A handball is equivalent to a kick and an underarm throw is equivalent to a handball. Scoring is the same as traditional Aussie rules.

The 2022 VWFL fixture features 13 rounds, the finals and a Grand Final that takes place on Sunday 18 September 2022.

You can follow the VWFL Facebook page for details on how to watch the Grand Final online.

It doesn’t stop there though

AFL Victoria’s Inclusion Vision is to make the game as accessible to every Victorian as possible. With a strong focus on social inclusion, they offer different programs and support initiatives that encourage all Victorians to get physically active in a safe environment.

The programs available include:

  • Victorian Blind Football League – for people with a vision impairment
  • FIDA Football League – for people with intellectual disability
  • Balloon Football League – for people with severe disability
  • Deaf Football Victoria – for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • AFL National Inclusion Carnival
  • Access All Abilities Auskick
  • Victorian Wheelchair Football League Junior Program

More benefits than just the obvious

Aside from the obvious physical health benefits of playing sport, the Clearinghouse for Sport notes that the other long-term outcomes for people with disability include social interaction and making friends, a sense of belonging and purpose, involvement in their local community and improved mental health.

These videos share the thoughts of two AFL Wheelchair players on how the sport has had an impact on their lives.