Central District's Jasmine Evans, Port Adelaide AFLW vice-captain Janelle Cuthbertson, Adelaide's Harry Schoenberg and Glenelg's Jonty Scharenberg at the launch of the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow at Adelaide Oval. Picture: David Mariuz

The AFL and SANFL are pleased to announce the return of the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow which launches today (Tuesday, March 12), connecting footy fans across South Australia with the excitement of the month-long festival of footy.

The Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow – a key curtain-raiser to the nine AFL Gather Round matches and SANFL v VFL Men's State Game to be held in SA next month – will travel to more than 30 regional towns across 21 days covering more than 4,000 kilometres.

Each stop on the action-packed Roadshow will feature family-friendly activities for locals, including sausage sizzles and kick and catch clinics.

Fans will also have a chance to get up close with the 2024 AFL and AFLW Premiership cups and the perpetual SANFL Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy and the SANFL Women's League Premiership cup.

The Roadshow spectacle will visit towns including Berri, Renmark, Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln, and this year makes its first visit to Kangaroo Island, which is among the many new destinations for 2024.

The AFL and SANFL also made the decision to take the Roadshow to smaller communities too, among them Ungarra and Port Neill on the Eyre Peninsula and Kalangadoo in the state's South East.

Ungarra Primary School (28 students) will be among 35 regional schools hosting a Roadshow visit.

This year every regional junior football club in the state will receive 15 brand-new Sherrin footballs as part of the Roadshow celebrations.

Other new additions to feature on the tour are women and girls football education sessions, coach education sessions, regional umpire recruitment and development and a roll out of the Tackle your Feelings mental health training program for clubs.

The Roadshow supports the AFL's goal to have one million registered participants by 2033 fuelled by $1 billion of investment into game development and community football in that time.

In 2023, the AFL, SANFL and South Australian Government announced an $8 million Football Facilities Fund to support continued growth of the game as part of a legacy investment from the inaugural Gather Round.

AFL Executive General Manager of Game Development Rob Auld said he was excited to see the return of the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow.

"We're delighted to work with the SANFL and South Australian Tourism Commission for a second year to deliver the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow – giving footy fans around the state a chance to connect with our game in the lead up to this exciting marquee round," Auld said.

"To have our AFL and AFLW premiership cups travel through the heartland of South Australian football is a great way to engage with communities and grow Australian football even further as we strive to have footy in every home.

"Along with getting up close to the ultimate silverware, the roadshow also consists of NAB AFL Auskick clinics, school visits, local club visits, women and girls education sessions and health and wellbeing sessions – all important game development initiatives aimed at giving back to the community."

Last year's Roadshow reached 5,000 fans in regional towns and SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig said his team is looking forward to bringing the excitement of the historic Gather Round to even more footy fans in every corner of the state over the coming weeks.

Duldig said the Roadshow was a fantastic opportunity to help inspire young players and grow the game in regional communities, especially in areas which have been doing it tough the past few years.

"Of the 52,000-plus players in SA, over half are in regional communities – the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow is therefore a great way to allow these players, as well as the hundreds of coaches, umpires and volunteers, to embrace this historic event in their hometowns," Duldig said.

"We thank the AFL for their support and providing the AFL and AFLW premiership cups which, along with the SANFL premiership cups, will provide unforgettable moments for South Australians as we lead into Gather Round."

The Roadshow will first tour through the Riverland, starting in Berri, before heading to Kangaroo Island, then the Adelaide Hills, Eyre Peninsula, Barossa, and finishing in the state's South-East.

South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said:

"The AFL Gather Round is a hugely popular event that enriches South Australia's major events calendar and generates significant return for our visitor economy.

"Once again this year, people living in regional South Australia are a big part of the month-long footy festival with the Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow travelling to many regional towns from the state's far west to the state's south-east.

"The Roadshow is an important part of the footy festival, helping extend the benefits of this major event across the state and I am thrilled this year's Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow will travel to 20 new destinations, including Kangaroo Island."

2024 Gather Round Community Footy Roadshow key dates and locations
A full list of all sites available on the SANFL website.
March 12 – Berri & Barmera 
March 13 – Loxton, Renmark, Waikerie, Ramco, Barmera
March 14/15 – Kangaroo Island (Penneshaw, Parndana, Kingscote)
March 16 – Meadows, Hahndorf, Birdwood
March 17 – Port Pirie
March 18 – Port Augusta
March 19 – Whyalla
March 21 – Wudinna, Lock, Cleve
March 22 – Cowell, Port Neill, Ungarra, Port Lincoln
March 24 – Tanunda
March 25 – Hewett, Gawler, Gawler East
March 27 – Millicent, Mt Burr, Kalangadoo, Mil Lel
March 28 – Mt Gambier, Allendale East, Moorak
April 2 – Bordertown, Keith