Leading By Example: The AFL Players Association

AFL Players Association Promotes Leadership Skills through Leaders of Evolution Courses 

Working as a professional athlete is tough…literally. It takes massive amounts of hard work, determination, and skill for that particular sport. It is not news that athletes face discrimination, abuse, and exploitation in the sports industry. In recent years especially, many brave athletes have spoken their truth surrounding situations of abuse. A prominent example in the United States was Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse against the USA gymnastics team.  

Athletes need to be protected by governing bodies that have their best intentions at heart. There are a handful of organisations in Australia that exist for this reason, as well as many in the world. One example in Australia is the Australian Football League Players Association or AFL Players Association for short.  

What is the AFL Players Association? 

The AFL Players Association is the representative body for current and past professional players. It promotes and protects all its members, as players welfare is the primary function. The organisation does this through initiatives, including workplace relations and advocacy, career development, community events, and much more. 

When was the AFL Players Association founded?

The association was established in 1974 and have invested in the personal development of past, present, and future male and female AFL footballers. 

Why does the AFL Players Association exist?  

The purpose of the AFL Players Association is to provide players care in advocacy for diversity and inclusion, resources such as financial support, partnering with other organisations, and so much more.  

AFL Players Use Leadership Skills 

I have written many stories about leadership and sports, as the two go hand in hand for a successful sports career. Leaders of Evolution offers a multitude of classes in order to equip students with the necessary skills to excel in sport. We offer Emerging Leaders in Sport e-learning courses both on and off the field for year 9 and 10 student-athletes.  

Emerging Leaders in Sport Course 

Being a student is hard. Being an athlete is hard. Being a student-athlete? Even more difficult. It’s no easy task balancing school and sports, but that’s where Leaders of Evolution can help. The Emerging Leaders in Sport course uses our 4 C’s Learning Framework, an experienced virtual facilitator, professional athletes, and engaging learning videos to teach self-awareness, grit, and leadership. Over 400 schools have benefitted from our courses and have overwhelmingly positive things to say about our courses.  


The head of football at Corinda State High School, Vaughan Hogan, says,  

“It’s been a great resource for our students this year and has helped fuel some much-needed conversation around leadership and character on and off the field. Students have found the platform content engaging, often completing online lessons outside of class and training time.”  

A Partnership with the Gold Coast SUNS  

AFL Players Association | Leaders of Evolution
SUNS AFLW Player Lauren Ahrens & LoE Co-founder Jon Shepherd

The AFL Players Association wants to be at the forefront of leadership in sports. In fact, one of their teams, the Gold Coast SUNS, is a valued partner of Leaders of Evolution. This partnership will allow for community connection through an interactive digital platform, thereby, bringing players, staff, and club knowledge into homes and classrooms across the Gold Coast and beyond. SUNS CEO, Mark Evans, explained how significant the partnership was for the club.  

“Community connection and school engagement remain key pillars for our Club. Harnessing technology further empowers our AFL & AFLW players to inspire primary and secondary school students via an interactive digital platform. Our SUNS broad footprint across Queensland, NSW and the Northern Territory presents geographical challenges. LoE’s proven EdTech approach is an exciting delivery mechanism to overcome these challenges. We have set out to mean more to our community than just being a football club, and this program will allow us to have a meaningful impact on the next generation.”  

Mark Evans, Gold Coast SUNS CEO

Every Leaders of Evolution course is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and state-based curriculums. Here at Leaders of Evolution, we are confident in our courses and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with our e-learning course after 30 days, just let us know and we will refund your money.  

If you are interested in learning more about our courses please visit our website here or contact us with any further questions! Start your leadership journey today! 

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Julia O'Leary

Has a passion for storytelling on a local, national, and international level. She fosters that love through her classes at Syracuse University as a writing and journalism student. In her free time, Julia is an avid traveler, skier, seafood connoisseur, and American football enthusiast. She has big plans to travel the world and a never-ending bucket list.


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