Programs

PROGRAMS

Australian Football International (AFI) personnel have been empowering people through sport and delivery of its development programs and events for 20 years. AFI has established and operated numerous programs and events both in Australia and across the globe for men, women and children from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Below is a summary of the programs and events that AFI have delivered showcasing our expertise.

Aussie Rules Schools was introduced to Santiago, Chile in 2016 as a pilot program for developing the game in Latin America. Thanks to the support of the Australian Government, the program was a great success and is being introduced to other countries in the region.

Footy 9s was created by AFI to allow Australian Football to be played on smaller playing fields, without losing any of the fun or excitement associated with the traditional game. AFI strongly believes that Footy 9s has huge potential to become a truly international sport.

ARUK logo

Aussie Rules UK (ARUK) was established in London as a pilot project for international development. Commencing in 2005, ARUK grew rapidly with over 10,000 children participating in its flagship program, Aussie Rules Schools. Additionally ARUK also established Coaching and Umpiring Courses for schoolteachers to ensure local resources could apply governance and ensure participatory continuity in the local market. In addition to its core programs supported by the UK and Australian business communities and its senior club ARUK Walkabout National League, ARUK also established many firsts for Australian Football internationally with major achievements including:

  • Inclusion in the London Youth Games (Europe’s largest junior sports tournament)
  • Hosting the inaugural EU Cup (European Championship) in London
  • 1st Women’s match in Europe – Anzac Sports Challenge London
  • 1st international junior match in Europe (England v Denmark U/14s – Copenhagen)
  • Establishment of the Dragon Cup (England v Wales)
  • Establishment of the Kangaroo Cup (England v Irish Exiles)
  • Aussie Rules Gala Day in London (involving 300 children from 19 schools)

Team Africa AFL logo

Team Africa has been established to empower people and communities through sport by organising Development Visits to Africa. Using sport as a powerful social tool, our aim is to make a positive contribution to the health and well being of children in Africa. We have an opportunity to not only develop the game in Africa, but to also make a positive contribution to the lives of many. To date AFI’s Team Africa program has completed development visits to South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Botswana.

DeadlyRoos

AFI successfully lobbied for the inclusion of Australian Football as a demonstration sport in the 2011 Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique. We took an indigenous team of at-risk youth (the Deadly Roos) to Africa, visiting Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa. The trip was seen as a great opportunity to inspire these young men and help turn their lives around. Apart from playing matches, they conducted junior coaching clinics as well, sharing their love of the game with the children of Africa.

2005 EU Cup logo

The EU Cup was created as a 9-a-side European Championship to assist the growth of Australian Football in Europe. The first EU Cup was held in London in 2005, with 10 national teams competing. Subsequent EU Cups were held in Hamburg (2007), Prague (2008) and Samobor (2009), with 15 national teams competing. Now renamed the Euro Cup, it is a major event on the international footy calendar.

Crucial to the success of the EU Cup was the creation of a unique set of playing rules, allowing the game to be played on smaller soccer and rugby fields.

ANZAC Cup AFL logo

During the 2008 EU Cup in Prague, it was proposed to play a match in Villers-Bretonneux, to align with the Anzac Day ceremonies in the north of France. Now an annual event, the first ANZAC Cup took place in Villers-Bretonneux in April 2009, with an Australian team playing the French national team in front of an enthusiastic crowd of locals and visiting Australians. The aim of the ANZAC Cup is to not only honour the fallen, but also foster the unique relationship between Australia and the French community in this region.

Footy 7s was launched under the banner of Touch Aussie Rules in London in 2005. It is a fun, non-contact and mixed version of the game that allows males and females to play together. Initially played by Australian expats, other nationalities in London that have taken up the game have included players from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, USA, Canada, France, South Africa, New Zealand and Poland.

It has proven to be a popular entry point to Australian Football, allowing non-Australians to focus on the skills of the game without huge time commitments or the risk of injury.

The Australian Convicts were created by AFI to give players from local clubs across Australia the opportunity to play overseas and help grow the game internationally. The first Convicts travelled to Europe in 2003, playing matches in England, Spain and Germany. The Convicts have also helped grow the game in South Africa, USA, Canada and South America (Chile, Argentina & Brazil).

Apart from playing against international teams, a highlight of all Convicts trips is the opportunity to run coaching clinics and donate footballs to local children.

The Harmony Cup is an annual event that features teams drawn from Melbourne’s many communities. The aim of the event is twofold:

  • to celebrate Melbourne’s ethnic diversity and harmony, and
  • use the power of sport to break down cultural and ethnic barriers. We may come from many different backgrounds but we are all Australians.

Participating teams have included Albania, Australia (indigenous team), Chile, Croatia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Oromia, Poland, Samoa, South Sudan, Spain, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Team Africa, Team Harmony, Vietnam, Wales and the United Nations.