Former AFL player turned goal umpire David Rodan launched the D-Rod Squad in Wagga on Wednesday.
AFL Southern NSW has been doing good work within their diversity program for a number of years and it has now been re-branded under the D-Rod Squad to fall in line with others across the country.
Since retiring from the AFL five years ago, Rodan has been working for the AFL in the diversity space.
His transition into umpiring has brought about the D-Rod Squads, which started in Victoria and is now being rolled out across the country with the aim of promoting diversity in umpiring.
"I call it the AFL's best kept secret. It's got so many fantastic offerings and for so many new communities, I think it's a perfect fit," Rodan said.
"Hopefully we can increase the participation numbers overall but there are plenty of opportunities within different communities that aren't involved in AFL at the moment so hopefully we can get them involved and I think the umpiring program is the perfect way to do that."
Rodan said the program is 'going gangbusters' and appeals to many of the communities that are new to the game.
"A lot of them find it quite challenging to get involved playing the game...they haven't played from a young age," he said.
"Umpiring, we get a lot of feedback around that it's non-contact, which they really approve of, there's no better way to learn the game then know the rules and obviously they get paid."
Rodan, who played 185 AFL games across stints with Richmond, Port Adelaide and Melbourne. He started as an AFL goal umpire in 2017.