Tuesday, January 16 2007 @ 07:27 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
The inaugural Bermuda Australian Rules Football Championships scheduled for April have been cancelled, or at least postponed until further notice. The event aimed to bring together club sides from all over the world, but most likely North American and European teams, in an international carnvial of Australian Football. Organisers hope to re-schedule for later, but 2008 is looking like the earliest date.
Clubs such as Atlanta and New York in the US and Reading in the UK were expected to attend. Several teams had signed on for the tournament, but organisers felt that the groundwork required was sufficiently shaky that there was a risk of problems and decided it was in everyone's best interest to announce a postponement earlier rather than later, else potentially have the event played under unsatisfactory conditions. They are still in for the long haul and want to ensure the Bermuda tournament becomes a recurring series, so want to put on an excellent show right from the start.
Atlanta's Wayne Kraska is one of those trying to get the series off the ground. He commented on the site's message board as follows:
"A few people are asking why the event has been postponed. Let me say it from the outset this was an event that was hard to imagine happening. I'm not saying we had a negative attitude from the start just that we knew there were many obstacles to get over and just one not falling into place would put the long term development of the event in jeopardy.
It was in the end one of these areas that led to the decision to postpone. We didn't want to run an event that was going to be be just a one year wonder, it was going to take too much time, effort and money to do that.
If you are reading this in Bermuda and want this event to go ahead at some time in the future then it's time for action. We left ourselves 18 months to get it ready and still couldn't overcome several issues. Perhaps trying to organize this event from another country didn't help.
So if you are local, look us up and let's keep this thing alive. If you are not local keep talkng about this event on international footy boards and here. We need to also know we have the support of the international teams and players as well."
In the meantime, for clubs looking for extended travel there remains the Dubai 9s scheduled for March this year, and various other tournaments are regularly staged in Europe, such as the Scottish Cup (contact the SARFL), the Sheepstation/Scania Cup in Denmark/Sweden (see details of 2006 tournament here), and there are several central and eastern European events (often under country banners but featuring primarily single club countries who are always looking for more competition).