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on starting in February. We expe

  • 17 Jun
    The number of girls and women playing Australian rules football has soared, according to figures released by the AFL.Total female participation increased 19 per cent in 2016 to 380,041, AFL game and development manager Simon Lethlean said on Tuesday.The number of girls playing Auskick grew by 21 per cent and 354 new community club teams were launched in 2016, with females now accounting for 27 percent of all footballers.It comes as the new AFL womens league prepares to kick off its inaugural season in February, with a number of games expected to be played as curtain-raisers to the mens pre-season clashes.(Womens footy) has been the biggest growth part of our industry now for three or four years, Lethlean said.That momentum has taken off. There are recognisable role models now and a competition starting in February. We expect that to really keep on increasing and its an exciting part of our industry.Male participation was up 10 percent in 2016 to 1,024,135 but Lethlean said the somewhat softer growth was no cause for concern.I think our male growth is still solid ... 1.4 million (total) participants around Australia is a fantastic outcome. We intend for that to keep growing and we intend to keep investing, he said.The fixture for the seven-week womens competition has been finalised but is yet to be released, with the AFL working to lock in broadcast deals for the games.Melbourne marquee player Melissa Hickey said the AFL had become far more inclusive since her childhood.I grew up in the country, so I was the only girl in my grade five and six football team, she said.It probably wasnt quite the thing to do when I was a bit younger. I think thats the beauty of our womens league. Its becoming so common so the young kids know that pathway is there for them..Hickey also brushed off concerns female players could be at greater risk of concussion, with campaigner Peter Jess recently warning there was potential for a catastrophic injury.Were susceptible to the same injuries (as the men), Hickey said.It happens but its not something Im concerned about. Wholesale Air Max . DAmigo scored twice in regulation and added the shootout winner as the Toronto Marlies edged the San Antonio Rampage 5-4 in American Hockey League action. Nike Air Max Cyber Monday . Denis Coderre, the former federal MP who was elected mayor on Nov. 3, has drawn the ire of some Montreal Canadiens. During last nights game he tweeted: "Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to (minor-league) Hamilton for David Desharnais please. http://www.airmaxcheapdiscount.com/ . 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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Indians are aiming for their first series victory in three tries against the Minnesota Twins this season and will have two chances to do it after winning the opener of a three-game series 5-2 on Friday night at Target Field.The last-place Twins, who have the worst record in the American League, have had surprising success against the Indians and Texas Rangers, the two best teams in the AL.Clevelands win on Friday was just the third in seven games against Minnesota, and the Twins are the only AL Central team that has a winning record over the Tribe.It was good (to get back out there), Indians first baseman Mike Napoli said. We got some rest, rested the body, and it looked like everyone looked fresh. Its going to be a grind down the stretch, but for us to be able to get some rest, its nice.Highlighted by a strong pitching performance from Carlos Carrasco in the series opener, the Indians will turn to Trevor Bauer on Saturday. The right-hander was roughed up in his last outing before the All-Star break, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees, snapping a stretch of eight consecutive appearances without a loss.Bauer went 4-0 during that stretch with an ERA of just 2.10, lasting at least six innings and allowing no more than three earned runs each time out.In his only appearance against the Twins this season, Bauer gave up three runs, five hiits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings, taking the loss on May 15 at Progressive Field.ddddddddddddCarrasco did what most have failed to do against the Twins since mid-June and that is quiet their bats. Minnesota entered play on Friday having scored 140 runs since June 18, the most in baseball.But after a solo homer by Brian Dozier in the fourth inning, Minnesota was limited to one hit the rest of the way and four on the night.We talked about who was affected more by a four-day layoff, but its tough to tell when pitching is good, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. We just didnt have enough offense. Four hits isnt going to get you many wins.The Twins will counter with Tyler Duffey, who pitched six shutout innings against the Rangers in his last outing before the break. It has been a mixed bag for the right-hander of late; in his last four starts, Duffey las allowed one and zero runs in two starts while giving up six and four runs in two others.With the Twins 21 games back of Cleveland in the AL Central, the club will look for more consistency from their starting pitching during the second half. That includes Duffey, who went 5-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts during the second half last season but has struggled to find that same mojo in 2016 (5-6, 5.20 ERA in 14 starts). ' ' '