Universities to compete for Aussie Rules crown
Australian rules football is coming to Canadian universities.
This fall, university teams from across Canada are expected to converge on Calgary and Montreal as the cities each host a 7-a-side, non-contact, co-ed form of the sport.
The Calgary Kangaroos and AFL Quebec have volunteered to work with the University of Calgary and Montreal’s Concordia University to organize separate western and eastern tournaments.
University of Calgary player Alex Bradley said he was keen to compete at the inaugural competition with his teammates.
"With some recruitment, I think the university competition could turn into something pretty awesome, but describing Aussie Rules to someone who has never seen it can be very challenging," Bradley said.
"I often say it's a cross between a number of sports like rugby, soccer and football. I describe it as a fast paced and exciting game – the most exciting in the world.
"Unless they see it for themselves, it can be hard to describe."
The sport – known colloquially as AFL or footy – dates back more than 150 years in Australia, but still has a history spanning three decades in Canada.
That history includes thousands of men, women and children participating across the country and a world championship from the national women’s team.
AFL Canada president Lachlan Griffiths said the sport incorporated the best aspects of university life.
"Footy is the ideal sport for university students as it incorporates many skills students would have developed from other sports; every footy club has a very social and welcoming atmosphere but most of all, it's a lot of fun," he said.
"Cambridge played Oxford earlier this month in the 98th annual game between those two UK schools, so the launch of an inter-collegiate championships in Canada is well overdue."
If you're interested in joining or starting a university team email firstname.lastname@example.org