Contributed by: Brett Northey Saturday, February 17 2007 @ 01:28 pm ACDT
Footy in China is continuing to be developed in several locations, with Tom Mattessi filling an AYAD position in Tianjin, near Beijing, having good success getting locals involved in the sport. A big difficulty must be that most Chinese would never had heard of Aussie Rules. Encouragingly Mattessi has made some inroads there, with a local television station running a good piece on his program.
You can view the video here: Tianjin footy on Youtube[*1] (turn up your volume to hear the audio).
Mattessi explained earlier this year that the whole four and a half minute segment was shown on a major Tianjin sports channel which is veiwable by the whole city population of 10 million people. It featured extensive footage of the Chinese players in action and talked about the Tianjin Normal University's program. The reporter talked with Mattessi and Andrew Sawitsch, who has been involved in footy in Asia for many years. The players are definitely picking up the skills and show guts going in hard on a very rough ground. They look quick over the ground though generally of slim build. There is a stereotype of Asians generally being short and light, but China has a huge diversity of ethnic groups, and with well over a billion people, probably a million people with any given body shape. The video also features footage of the 2005 AFL Grand Final, giving viewers an idea of how big the sport is in Australia. Hopefully this excellent program will continue in 2007.