CHOGM Cup Perth 2011
Tuesday, October 25 2011 @ 12:00 am ACDT
Contributed by: Harley Vague
The AFL together with the Australian Government has kicked off a unique program that has seen young footballers in Perth from a range of cultural backgrounds take part in the AFL Multicultural All Star Camp to celebrate the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) coming to their city. Minister for Defence Stephen Smith was on hand to officially open the camp at the Fremantle Football Club and meet the participants.
For some of our international readers, here Commonwealth refers to the Commonwealth of Nations, countries formerly part of the British Empire.
Driven by the West Australian Football Commission, the AFL Multicultural All Star Camp ran from Friday October 21 to Monday October 24 to coincide with the start of the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
The featured match was between the Lions and the Catalysts.
As the focus of political attention turned to CHOGM and Perth, Medibank stadium was the venue for the CHOGM Cup, the climax of the four day AFL multi-cultural camp. Wangara Catalyst School provided a mainly an indigenous side and the Edmund Rice Nollamara School provided a multi-cultural side mostly of North African origin. WAFC multicultural programs manager Paul Mugambwa and team manager for the Edmund Rice Lions decided to play for the Catalyst side and leave the coaching of the Lions to former graduates. Mugamwa is well known in the WAFL as a South Fremantle player. Players from both sides are from widely differing backgrounds but all are beneficiaries of programs that use football as a tool in education.
The Catalyst side burst onto the scene with a goal in the opening seconds. That awakened the Lions and they worked hard for possesion to lead 3.6 to 1.0 at quarter time. The second quarter saw the Lions increase their lead, 7.9 to 2.0 as they used their speed on the big ground to advantage. The Catalysts came out harder after half time raising the tempo and narrowing the gap 8.13 to 5.1 at the last change but it must have drained them as the Lions ran hard and kicked long to finish victors 12.16 to 5.2.
Player of the match Susan challenges Mugamwa
The Lions consistently leapt high
And ran hard.
More information about the program is below in an AFL press release.
The team is made up of 25 young players from migrant families that have settled in Perth in recent times and have taken to Australia’s Indigenous game, including footballers from Commonwealth country backgrounds such as Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, South Africa and Uganda along with players from the world’s newest country (and applicant to join the Commonwealth) South Sudan.
The four day camp will see a session with Fremantle Dockers assistant coach Michael Prior, AFL Draft Combine skills testing, education sessions on nutrition and fitness, a cultural exchange program with Indigenous AFL ambassadors and a tour of AFL club the Fremantle Dockers.
The AFL Multicultural Camp will culminate in a showcase match on Monday October 24 at Medibank Stadium for the ‘CHOGM Cup’ between the Multicultural All Stars and an Indigenous Perth team, before the players will meet and teach the finer points of football to delegates from around the world attending the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith wished the participants well for the camp and in their role as ambassadors for the game during CHOGM.
"The AFL Multicultural Camp is the ideal opportunity to showcase our homegrown, national game to our CHOGM visitors", Minister Smith said
Team Manager and WAFC multicultural programs manager Paul Mugambwa is excited at the possibilities the program offers.
“As a boy growing up in Australia with Ugandan-heritage I know the role sport plays in bringing people from all backgrounds together. With people from all around the world coming to Perth for CHOGM, this program is a great way to showcase our game and the role it plays in Australia uniting people from a range of cultures, while giving the players a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of an event like CHOGM,” he said.
The Commonwealth flavour will not only be limited to the players, the coaching staff and team management will include Australian or Australian-based players with Commonwealth country backgrounds including WAFL player Mugambwa (Lesotho born, Ugandan heritage) and AFL trainee Bayanda Sobetwa (South Africa).