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Following the Victorian Premier’s announcement of the easing of restrictions on 24 October, the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) reintroduced junior football to Metropolitan Melbourne last Sunday with the return of the Football 4 Fun program. 

After another year of Victorians facing some of the strictest lockdowns in the world, with social restrictions since 5 August 2021, the league is ecstatic to provide an opportunity for kids to return to football this November. 

The league recognises the important role community sport plays in the betterment of children’s mental and physical health. During a crucial time in a child’s physical, mental and social development lockdowns play a huge impact on the mind and body. Physical activity has been shown to be crucial in bettering health and wellbeing though boosting mood, improving sleep and energy, and providing the opportunity to foster social relationships with others. 

SMJFL Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Loh has been motivated to see kids get back out on the park by providing an opportunity to play football with their friends prior to the end of the season.  

“In what has been another turbulent year for kids and their families we are delighted to be able to provide an opportunity for kids to get out and play with their friends before the end of the year.” 

The league has been working with Local Government Authorities and AFL Victoria to again deliver the Football 4 Fun program to children within the league without impacting summer sports and would like to thank Bayside City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Kingston City Council, Monash City Council, Port Philip City Council and St Kilda Football Club for providing the venues for the Football 4 Fun program. 

St Kilda Football Club as the league’s Major Community Partner has again provided the use of the Linton Street grounds, for the Footy 4 Fun program.  

St Kilda Football Club Chief Executive Officer Matt Finnis said he was excited to see the program return for another year after great success in 2020.

“We’re so pleased to be able to welcome all of the Footy 4 Fun participants and their families back to RSEA Park,” Finnis said.

”It’s been a big two years, but we’re hopeful that moving forward we’ll be able to see participants back regularly enjoying footy again.” 

The Football 4 Fun program will again be offered free of charge to SMJFL players and will run for three weeks commencing Sunday 21 November 2021, running until Sunday 5 December 2021. 

The league looks forward to seeing our players returning to our great game in the coming weeks. 

If you have any queries about the program, please contact your club directly.