Year of anniversaries as international footy matures
Wednesday, October 31 2007 @ 07:21 am ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
2007 has been a year of anniversaries in international footy. The sport has unquestionably put down some solid roots in a number of countries, whereas a decade or two past, plenty of leagues were only the loss of one or two key people away from disappearing.
The USAFL has celebrated its 10th anniversary, including a celebration at the Nationals in Kentucky which saw the naming of their team of the first decade. Their Ten Year Commemorative Book is available here.
The Japan AFL has brought up their 20th year in the game.
In September AFL South Africa (formerly Footy South Africa) joined the milestone group, also bringing up 10 years since development began in the North West Province. According to AFL South Africa North West Provincial Manager July Machethe, "It was at this month back in 1997 that AFL was introduced to the North West community and since then the game has developed and produced immeasurable results. We’ve experienced AFL South Africa and AFL North West teams participating in the two editions of the International Cup in 2002 and 2005, The Jim Stynes Cup (now Ron Barassi Youth Tournament) in 1997 and 2006 with the under 16 kids participating. We also have experienced a great cultural exchange, skills and love of “Our Game” between Australians and South Africans since the introduction of the game back in 1997".
"A lot has happened and more big things to come… I should mention the great support and courage to take the game to the next level by the AFL body (in Australia) without them it will have been impossible for us to reach this stage. Them bringing in the Fremantle Football Club to the North West is a great boost and we are going to do well together with the Dockers! Words of Appreciation also goes to the North West Department of Sports Arts & Culture!!!".