Contributed by: Brett NortheyAustralian Rules football continues to grow steadily in the United States. Unlike many top American sports, Aussie Rules does not have a strong college presence. However several colleges have taken on the game, and September sees an exciting new phase for the sport, with the Inaugural Collegiate Invitational. This may well be the springboard needed to accelerate football's growth in universities throughout the US.
The First Annual National Collegiate Invitational Aussie Rules Tournament will be held at Vanderbilt University on September 10, 11, & 12, 2004. The Semi Finals and Championship games will be played at the 2004 Australian Festival at Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee. This should see a big crowd creating a great atmosphere for the showcase matches.
So far there are seven confirmed entries:
|Arizona State Uni|
|Middle Tennessee State Uni|
|North Carolina Uni|
|North Carolina State Uni|
|Missouri Uni - Kansas City|
Unfortunately Uni Wisconsin-Milwaukee had to withdraw due to MAAFL committments. The tournament is also seeking additional college players (staff, faculty and alumni) to help strengthen club numbers for this event. Ultimately organisers hope this event will see a rapid rise for Australian football in US colleges, culminating in its acceptance as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Sport in years to come.
Vandy Uni is a private research University in Nashville, Tennessee, with over 10,000 students. Its Australian Rules club was formed in 2001 with the help of the Nashville Kangaroos, a key member of the MAAFL. Vandy compete in the Nashville metro league. The tournament is also receiving great support from Beareware.
World Footy News