THE region's soccer clubs are being celebrated after the sport took the mantle of the country's club-based most participated in sport.
More than 1.8 million people across the country took part in the sport last season, with Northern Inland Football boasting its share of players.
As well as an impressive growth in junior ranks, the region's competition also saw a rise in participation of women.
Northern Inland Football general manager Julia Farina said the growth was down to the "fantastic work of our local clubs".
"We are quite large in the junior ranks at the moment, but we are also moving on up in terms of women's participation as well," Farina said.
"Programs like the Mini Roos and Kick On For Women have a lot to do with that growth.
"However, I think the clubs in our region deserve some credit, especially clubs like North Companions and Maules Creek."
Farina said the growth of Northies and Moore Creek had been amazing.
"In three and half years, Northies went from 300 players to 560 players," she said.
"As for Moore Creek, they only started a year ago and went from zero to 140 players in a really short space of time.
"Our whole region is growing in terms of participation and it is very exciting to see."
North Companions president Steve Mitchell said the growth of the game would not be possible without volunteers.
"I know from our club's perspective, the season doesn't happen without the help of volunteers," Mitchell said.
"Without all the people giving up their time to help make it happen, I'm not sure we would be seeing this kind of growth in our game."
Northies have also lead the way in the development of the women's competition - taking out the first two women's A-grade premierships and finishing runner up in this season's B-grade grand final.
Just last week it was announced the country's elite female players would earn the same as their male counterparts.
"It's been really pleasing to see our women's playing ranks grow and I think this announcement will really help," Mitchell said.
"As a club, we try to help keep the girls together in the junior ranks so they have the chance to play together and hopefully stick together into the senior ranks.
"For girls to now see a clear pathway to a successful national outfit will hopefully inspire them to reach for the top and hopefully we can help them get there."