The 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships wrapped up last week in Blacktown, Sydney, with Western Australia and Victoria taking home the silverware. The U15 Kickstart indigenous team from Western Australia won their eighth consecutive title to remain the only state team to have ever won the competition since its inception. Victoria held on in a dramatic All-Nations final for multicultural teams.
The Kickstart Championships came into being back in 2011 as an elite pathway for under 15 indigenous players from across Australia. With exposure to elite coaching, support and facilities, the competition augmented the national Under 16 championships. Western Australia has been the dominant force since the inception of the carnival in 2011, and last week’s result continued a proud tradition.
The All-Nations competition is an opportunity for players from diverse multicultural backgrounds to bring their talents to a state level and after humble beginnings as a modified game for players, it is now a fully-fledged competition in its own right.
The following is a media release from AFL Northern Territory announcing selections in the national Kickstart and World teams from the recent Diversity Championships in Sydney.
AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is pleased to announce that seven young Territorians were named in Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads to play two exhibition matches at the 2017 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.
Selected by AFL Club recruiters following the 2018 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown, the respective squads of 25 young men has been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.
The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, supported by Rio Tinto. Meanwhile the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.
Tash Gunawardana interviewed two-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Melissa Etheridge who is currently on tour in Australia with Sheryl Crow. Melissa has been in the music industry for 30 years and she said, “I am still in love with performing. I am still in love with sharing music with an audience. I still love the travel, the getting to see people and getting to new places. The award - that’s all fine and good - but the real stuff is in the journey everyday. Writing new music, performing the old hits and just loving it all.
Image Source: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS
Lisa saw the coaching position advertised and knew she had something to offer in her unique background so she applied for the position, deciding it was a great opportunity to further her coaching career. Before long, Lisa found out she was the assistant coach from head coach Jane Lange in November. There were only a few insiders who knew before the announcement.
Visiting teams have learned this over the years – Cazalys Stadium in Cairns is wind affected. The howling southerly gales that travel up the valley from Innisfail heavily assist the northern end of the ground and make scoring at the other end difficult. Not so last night, with scoring heavily assisted by the tide rather than the wind.
(Picture: Jack Bowes leads the way for the Suns)
With Tropical Cyclone Nora nearing landfall at Kowanyama on western Cape York, and threatening coastal communities around the Gulf of Carpentaria, the cyclonic rain settled happily over Cairns. With freestyle and backstroke races an equally viable option on the Cazalys Stadium surface, the football went ahead as planned making a whole new spectacle that even the AFL hadn’t bargained on.
The opening centre bounce was wisely replaced by the opening ball-up, otherwise they’d have never found the ball again. However, from then on the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne Kangaroos sloshed it out in front of a very enthusiastic, albeit mostly bedraggled crowd. Those who braved the conditions should be commended, and they witnessed a hard slogging affair from two committed teams. During the first quarter, neither gave an inch and adapted relatively quickly to the conditions.
Western Bulldogs are the 2018 AFLW premiers, which was set up on the back of a strong superb second half of football played by the daughters of the west. It was heartbreaking for the Brisbane Lions who were unlucky again to go down in the AFLW Grand Final two years in a row. This grand final was a tale of two halves, as the Lions played a great first half of football and then were quiet in the second half where the Dogs became played dominant football in the premiership quarter. It was a very tough high intensity match of women’s football played by both teams this afternoon at a wet and slippery, Ikon Park.
The Far North Queensland city of Cairns is about to host a very special football match. The AFL Premiership season for 2018 starts this weekend across the nation and Cairns is in the exciting position of hosting one of the Round One fixtures with the Gold Coast Suns hosting the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the Suns’ home at Metricon Stadium at Robina being seconded into the grand scheme of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the club has been forced to find options across the lands to play home fixtures. Cairns has been given the biggest, tastiest cherry of all with the honour of an opening round – traditionally one of the best attended rounds in a season with fans having endured their six month break from footy and desperate to get to a match.
In one of the most remarkable finishes to an NTFL grand-final, the Southern Districts Crocs have desperately held on by a solitary point to defeat the Darwin Buffaloes. It is the closest result in the NTFL Premier League since 2015/16 when St Mary’s held of Wanderers by two points. The previous occasions where a premiership was decided by just one point were in 1981/82 when Wanderers defeated St Mary’s and in 1971/72 and Saints downed the Buffaloes. A draw in 1932/33 was decided by a larger margin a week later when Waratah defeated Buffaloes.
The game looked to be on the way to being sealed by quarter time when the Crocs raced away with a seven goal to one term. Not to be denied, the Buffaloes charged back in the second quarter to bring the difference back to a goal by the main break.
Following recent media coverage of the state of footy in Tasmania, and statements about the subject by a number of high profile Tasmanians and other passionate football identities, AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan today visited Hobart where he met with the Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman and AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires.
The following statements were made by McLachlan following the meeting.
Standing in the eastern goal square at the Holloway’s Beach Sporting Complex, located on the northern beaches of Cairns, former Melbourne Demons’ champion Aaron Davey simply points to the other end of the field and says, “look at that!” He is referring to a football field chock full of kids of all ages – girls and boys – kicking footballs, laughing, listening to coaches, showing off to their team mates and generally having a blast.
It showed all the health and vitality of a strong club going places – part of the vision that new senior coach Davey has for his new team. “That’s the future” he adds. He is right. Davey knows only too well that for the Cairns City Lions to rise from the depths of a forgettable 2017 and sustain strength and success into the future, the club has to now foster the young kids who will take over when Davey and others have moved on.