By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 11 April: The Australian Football League (AFL), is all set to promote and organize the first ever Australian Football Rules tournament at the 32nd Australian Sikh Games 2019, April 19-21, Casey fields, Melbourne.
As part of its National Indian Engagement Strategy, the AFL has secured a 3-year partnership with the Australian Sikh Games organizing committee to be part of the Games from 2018 -2020. Through this tournament, the AFL feels, its ‘greatest opportunity to connect and engage the community focusing on fan and participation outcomes.’
Six AFL clubs (Melbourne FC, North Melbourne FC, Adelaide FC, GWS FC, Essendon FC and the St.Kilda FC) will have Indian centric teams and about 40 plus intending players have been registered.
‘They will be distributed into the six teams and the tournament held during the games,’ says Ankit Sarin, AFL.
“At the Australian Sikh Games, AFL will be running a 9-a-side competition for players over the age of 14. Between the six AFL clubs, we hope to have teams of around nine players representing each Club over the 3-day event, “says the media release.
Talking to SAT Avtar Singh, AFL said, “AFL 9’s rules apply and each game will be of total 30 minutes divided into 12 minutes each two halves with a six minutes break at the half time.”
“Our aim is to promote the AFL among Indian origin people by participating in the Sikh Games,” he said/
AFL will provide ground managers, umpires and scorers for the event. To engage the younger population, AFL will be running an AFL Auskick activation on Friday 19, alongside the AFL competition,” says an AFL media release.
The annual Australian Sikh Games are a sporting and cultural event targeting the Australian Sikh community. Every year the games are held in a different capital city and in some major regional areas around Australia. Players and spectators from all over the country and overseas, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, and the U.K. come to participate in a wide array of traditional Indian and Australian sports events.
The Australian Sikh games draw crowds of up to 50, 000 – 60,000 people over three days, with plenty of activities for the family outside of the sporting contest.
The games commenced in 1987 when members of the Sikh community decided to host a hockey tournament.