The 31st October 2013 marked a historic day for the Australian Rules Football Association of India (ARFAI). A successful bid for the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) grant resulted in the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the AFL Headquarters signing an agreement to pass the grant in favour of ARFAI. The grant will help the ARFAI develop Aussie Rules Football in India with help from partner organisation Magic Bus - India.
The launch of the agreement was hosted at the Australian High Commission in Delhi. The grant was passed to assist focused development of Footy in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. ARFAI in this period will be working in close quarters with Magic Bus, India which is an international sport NGO helping unprivileged children using sports as a medium to relay social messages. Apart from the social programmes, ARFAI will also engage in educational programmes in other states as well through the India chapter of Global Community Sports (GSC) which is a company conducting educational and global cultural exchange programmes using Footy as the medium.
It is three thousand odd kilometres between Punjab in north India to Kerala far down south. It’s another 2000 kilometres between Gujarat far west and West Bengal on the eastern borders. Massive distance the figures suggest and the present Secretary General of the Australian Rules Football Association of India, Sudip Chakraborty, has travelled the length and breadth of the nation repeatedly for the past 12 months just for footy. Starting from the national championships in Kerala in 2012 and set to culminate in another championship in Goa this November, this twelve months has been one hell of a ride for this footy vagabond.
A cricket fanatic and open to new ventures, Sudip jumped on the footy bandwagon in 2008 and before long he had become an integral part of the sporting activities in the country. By the end of 2011, Sudip had already represented his country in two International Cups, and as the days rolled on, what started as an exploration, turned into a vision and a stubborn will to make his dream come true.
With the kind assistance and generosity of Jonathan Cooper and the Osaka Dingoes Australian Football club, the following article is an interview with one of the icons of Australian Rules football in Japan. The answers to the interview questions have been produced in both English and Japanese out of respect for the loyal national readership in Japan and so that the current University players can read his message and follow in his footsteps.
With the development of the game of Australian football in Asia high on the agenda of the current AFL administration, we thought we would interview and share with you the thoughts of the Dingoes' Takaaki Seto, a man who has been involved in Japanese football for twelve years now and who was influential in establishing the university football system in Japan.
'Seto' as he is more commonly referred to, is currently a back pocket at the Osaka Dingoes and has represented Japan at the 2002, 2008 and 2011 International Cups. He won the Peter Wilson medal for league best and fairest in 2007, and won the Osaka Dingoes' best and fairest award in 2012.
On Saturday, October 5th, Japan's largest footy tournament was held at Seimei-no-mori Resort in Chiba.
Despite the unfortunate rainy weather, the tournament was carried out as initially planned receiving the attendance of 3 local Japanese teams (Eastern Hawks, Komazawa Magpies, Senshu Powers), 1 Expat team (Tokyo Goannas), 1 mixed team (Tokyo Bay Suns), and a visiting team from Box Hill North.
The games were played with 9 players each on the ground, structure of 10 minute halves for preliminary rounds and semi-finals, and 15 minute halves for the Grand Final.
Eastern Hawks finished on top after a seesaw game against the Tokyo Bay Suns in the Grand Final.
This report courtesy of Hiroyuki Toyama from the AFL Japan.
The South China Morning Post has reported on Port Adelaide Football Club legend Russell Ebert in Hong Kong to set up ties with the Hong Kong Dragons. Ebert has signed a reciprocal deal on behalf of Port Adelaide with the Dragons which will be beneficial to their Auskick programme, which currently boasts 300 kids. Click here to read the original article.
The AFL Japan Cup 2013 is set to be held on October 5, Saturday at "Seimei No Mori Resort" in Chiba, Japan.
The event will be contested by 6 teams including international visitors the Box Hill North Football Club. The other 5 teams include an all local Japanese team, an all expatriate team, and a Japanese-Australian combined team.
The one day tournament will have 9-a-side games, structured in 2 divisions, 2 semi-finals, and a grand final. Leading Goal Kicker, Player of the Tournament, Best on Ground of Grand Final, and other awards are to be presented.
The 14th annual Asian Championships have taken place in Thailand, with the Hong Kong Dragons taking out the coveted title for the second consecutive year. The Dragons went through undefeated and beat the Philippines Eagles in the final 4.5 (29) to 2.3 (15) at Royal Polo and Equestrian Grounds outside of Pattaya.
This is the Dragons’ fifth title since the tournament began in 2000. The team is now tied with the Singapore Wombats for the record of most Championships.
The first Asian Championships to be held under the AFL Asia banner proved to be a success with a record 13 teams from across the continent competing for the prize, up from nine teams the previous year.
Other than the Dragons, Eagles and the hosting Thailand Tigers, the competing teams were the Singapore Wombats, Macau Lightning, China Reds, Jakarta Bintangs, Bali Geckos, Cambodia Eagles, Laos Elephants, Malaysian Warriors, Vietnam Swans and Japan Goannas.
This year’s tournament shows how the game continues to grow in the region, not only with the record number of participating clubs, but with the strength from within these clubs too. The Philippines Eagles finished at the bottom of the Championship table last year with no wins, but improved to go through almost undefeated this year only to fall at the last hurdle.
The tournament has become the pinnacle of Australian Rules football in Asia. With new structural organisation, an ever increasing number of teams and the depth within those teams, it will continue to grow as the pinnacle of Asian footy.