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Laos Elephants in Western Australia


Elephants play footy at Wanneroo AFC, Perth, WA. in effort to promote and develop Aussie Footy Internationally.

Earlier this year in July two Laotian Australian Rules footballers played an invitational match for Wanneroo Amateur Football Club in Perth, Western Australia.

Story following courtesy of AFL Asia.

Years of planning and fundraising has finally paid off for two Aussie Rules clubs thousands of kilometers and oceans apart. Through the efforts of Wanneroo Amateur FC legend and current Laos Elephants President Steve Chapman, two Laos Elephants have been given the trip of a lifetime and in doing so, creating a strong bond between the two clubs.

After playing in Wanneroo’s 2010 Premiership, “Chappy” ventured off into a remote mine site in Laos and has not looked back, being a key driver of the Laos Elephants successful local development program.

Chappy and a few close friends from the Wanneroo footy club came up with a plan way back in 2013 to one day bring a local player from Laos over to Australia to experience the Aussie way of life and also test themselves against seasoned campaigners at amateur football league level.

This plan recently came to fruition with them not only able to take one, but two local Laotians over to Perth and it turned out to be one of the more memorable and meaningful experiences in both Clubs history.

The years of hard work teaching Ekaphon Choumphavanh and Handa Yattivong our great game through coach Craig Quigg, captain Steve Chapman and all expatriates in the Lao Elephants team over the years definitely paid off as the two boys did not look out of place and helped their side get to a commanding lead in the game. Unfortunately, the side they were playing against had more run and eventually ground out the win, but that did not matter. The real winner on this day was AFL football and especially AFL football in Asia.

With hopes of sending a combined Indochina Team to the AFL International Cup in 2017, with representatives from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, this was proof that it should not be a hope, but should become a reality. These two boys showed that with a bit of hard work and determination, anything is possible.

A special thanks has to go to the Wanneroo AFC for all their hard work in getting the boys registered, and especially President Russell Burnett for putting the two boys up at his house for most of their stay and also 2010 WAFC Premiership captain Jonathan Small for all his hard work behind the scenes to make this possible. It also would not have been possible without sponsorship from IIMS and Caltex and also all the personal donations made by the Lao Elephants playing squad. thank you very much to everyone involved, you know who you are.

There are already plans in place to send two more Lao players next year, and the hope is that the relationship between these two clubs will grow even stronger in the years to come.




More can be found at AFL Asia and Laos Elephants Facebook group,

and Wanneroo Times http://www.communitynews.com.au/news/Win-some-Laos-some/7674742

More pictures at the Lao Elephants facebook group.





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Laos Elephants in Western Australia | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Laos Elephants in Western Australia
Authored by: Cam Homes on Friday, September 25 2015 @ 05:18 pm ACST

Makes ya wonder doesn't it, how many more Australian footy followers suddenly became aware that Aussie Rules is played in Laos and by Laotians. Not knowing how big the Wanneroo AFC is, precludes us putting a number on it, but from my experience when talking to my fellow Aussies, it seems that most do not have a clue that Aussie Rules is played outside Australia.

Lets say 500-600 people either play, officiate and support Wanneroo then I believe probably as many as 400-500 learned for the first time that Aussie Rules is an international game and not just played by expat Aussies.

Imagine 50 or so amateur or country footy clubs/leagues across Australia repeating this exercise hosting players from Japan, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Italy, Canada, USA, France, Cambodia, Sweden and the list goes on, and how many hundreds and even thousands of Australians would be educated about the internationalization of Aussie Rules.

Not too mention the what it would do for promoting, developing and growing the game back in home country of all the players that were put up in Aussie.

Unfortunately it is a little harder to Imagine the AFL(World Ruling Body) kicking in some funding for this type of exercise. Pretty sad really!! :-( 

The AFL tends to spend on money on finding/taking elite athletes from other sports in other countries (Combines) and hoping they will end up playing at AFL level as a better method of promoting and growing the game outside Australia, and at the same time better educate Australians. Hmmm!