Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 03:52 AM ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
Australian Rules football countries around the world are in full swing with fundraising activities to get their players to the 2005 International Cup. South Africa recently had a very successful fundraising dinner in Melbourne, with around AU$25,000 raised. The Australian Rules Football League Ireland are also well on the way, as are the Papua New Guinea AFL.
In 2002, countries spent of the order of AU$100,000 each to get their lads to Australia. This has sometimes raised debate as to whether the money could be better spent developing their local leagues. But it is difficult to measure how important a tool the chance to represent your country is in recruiting and keeping players in the sport. The event is also vital in raising awareness in Australia and offers the chance for leagues to build links while they are Down Under. In the end, each country must make a choice.