International Rules in China

Sunday, May 15 2005 @ 04:30 am ACST

Contributed by: Peter Parry

Gaelic football and Aussie rules are about evenly matched as developing codes in Asia, and there have been regular compromise or International Rules matches between Gaelic and Aussie Rules clubs in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. If anything Gaelic football has taken a bit of a lead in recent years, despite there being less Irish than Aussie expats in the region.

The impetus from this comes from the Asian Gaelic Games - an annual 7's version of Gaelic football. The last 2 tournaments have been played in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Dragons Aussie Rules club has aquitted itself well in International Rules against a Gaelic lineup at both tournaments.

Katrina Williams, chairperson of Hong Kong Gaelic Football Club, says "these are exciting times for Gaelic Football in Asia, as the number of teams and participants continues to grow at phenomenal rates."

The weekend of 13th to 16th May 2005 sees a Gaelic Games tournament come to Beijing for the first time. An interesting report comes from the official GAA website in Ireland once again International Rules will be on display with a southern v northern hemisphere curtain-raiser to the Gaelic final.

Aussie Rules is also growing in Asia as our recent report 2005 Asian Championships come to Manila shows. Gaelic's growing success in Asia gives an impetus to Aussie Rules footy to match it. It is also likely to be positive to the growth of footy, with in future Asians who have gaelic experience able to switch to footy more easily.

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