The AFL Welcomes the World

Australian Football is played by over 30,000 participants in over 30 countries around the world. This August, over 16 countries will converge in Melbourne and Warrnambool for the third International Cup.

 

Never before has the Cup hosted this many countries, and the event takes on greater significance this year as Australia celebrates the 150th birthday of its Indigenous game.

The International Cup brings together participants who have not grown up with our game in Australia, but who have come to love its skill and share its passion.

The game’s record-breaking attendances in recent years have not only confirmed the strategies of game development, and nationalisation of the AFL competition, but have demonstrated that our fans love the game’s wonderful and evolving mix of fun and intrigue, and the euphoria that comes from a mix of skill, courage and brutality. The game has become all-inclusive. Think of the sons of immigration – Barassi, Silvagni, Jesaulenko, Jakovich, Riewoldt and Koschitzke – but think beyond that as well, and you will really see the beauty of inclusion.

The power to dream and imagine, to live with hope, is powerfully demonstrated as our game encourages all of us to connect with our beautiful indigenous Australians. Over many years, indigenous people in many lands have seen injustice in a multitude of ways, but mostly about lack of equality and opportunity. Let us hope we continue to show the way in Australian Football – to make our game the architecture in human relationships.

Our game remains isolated to our own shores, but it does not have to be so. Who knows what influence the wonders of modern technology and communications can have on the spread of this wonderful game. Remember, we started playing on grounds made for cricket, and we must keep the bond between cricket and its ovals to build a base for 2050 – worldwide.

Countries competing this year include Canada, USA, Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Denmark, China, Ireland, Japan, Finland, Samoa, Sweden, Spain, Tonga and Nauru. Each of these nations has thriving local leagues, and the competing teams will be composed entirely of home-grown players.

Competitors dream of tasting victory and experiencing the special atmosphere of the MCG – the home of Australian Football – to hold aloft the International Cup.

But equally important, football builds lifelong friendships. I’m sure the 2008 International Cup will provide

Australian Football is played by over 30,000 participants in over 30 countries around the world. This August, over 16 countries will converge in Melbourne and Warrnambool for the third International Cup.

 

Never before has the Cup hosted this many countries, and the event takes on greater significance this year as Australia celebrates the 150th birthday of its Indigenous game.

The International Cup brings together participants who have not grown up with our game in Australia, but who have come to love its skill and share its passion.

The game’s record-breaking attendances in recent years have not only confirmed the strategies of game development, and nationalisation of the AFL competition, but have demonstrated that our fans love the game’s wonderful and evolving mix of fun and intrigue, and the euphoria that comes from a mix of skill, courage and brutality. The game has become all-inclusive. Think of the sons of immigration – Barassi, Silvagni, Jesaulenko, Jakovich, Riewoldt and Koschitzke – but think beyond that as well, and you will really see the beauty of inclusion.

The power to dream and imagine, to live with hope, is powerfully demonstrated as our game encourages all of us to connect with our beautiful indigenous Australians. Over many years, indigenous people in many lands have seen injustice in a multitude of ways, but mostly about lack of equality and opportunity. Let us hope we continue to show the way in Australian Football – to make our game the architecture in human relationships.

Our game remains isolated to our own shores, but it does not have to be so. Who knows what influence the wonders of modern technology and communications can have on the spread of this wonderful game. Remember, we started playing on grounds made for cricket, and we must keep the bond between cricket and its ovals to build a base for 2050 – worldwide.

Countries competing this year include Canada, USA, Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Denmark, China, Ireland, Japan, Finland, Samoa, Sweden, Spain, Tonga and Nauru. Each of these nations has thriving local leagues, and the competing teams will be composed entirely of home-grown players.

Competitors dream of tasting victory and experiencing the special atmosphere of the MCG – the home of Australian Football – to hold aloft the International Cup.

But equally important, football builds lifelong friendships. I’m sure the 2008 International Cup will provide

Australian Football is played by over 30,000 participants in over 30 countries around the world. This August, over 16 countries will converge in Melbourne and Warrnambool for the third International Cup.

 

Never before has the Cup hosted this many countries, and the event takes on greater significance this year as Australia celebrates the 150th birthday of its Indigenous game.

The International Cup brings together participants who have not grown up with our game in Australia, but who have come to love its skill and share its passion.

The game’s record-breaking attendances in recent years have not only confirmed the strategies of game development, and nationalisation of the AFL competition, but have demonstrated that our fans love the game’s wonderful and evolving mix of fun and intrigue, and the euphoria that comes from a mix of skill, courage and brutality. The game has become all-inclusive. Think of the sons of immigration – Barassi, Silvagni, Jesaulenko, Jakovich, Riewoldt and Koschitzke – but think beyond that as well, and you will really see the beauty of inclusion.

The power to dream and imagine, to live with hope, is powerfully demonstrated as our game encourages all of us to connect with our beautiful indigenous Australians. Over many years, indigenous people in many lands have seen injustice in a multitude of ways, but mostly about lack of equality and opportunity. Let us hope we continue to show the way in Australian Football – to make our game the architecture in human relationships.

Our game remains isolated to our own shores, but it does not have to be so. Who knows what influence the wonders of modern technology and communications can have on the spread of this wonderful game. Remember, we started playing on grounds made for cricket, and we must keep the bond between cricket and its ovals to build a base for 2050 – worldwide.

Countries competing this year include Canada, USA, Great Britain, South Africa, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Denmark, China, Ireland, Japan, Finland, Samoa, Sweden, Spain, Tonga and Nauru. Each of these nations has thriving local leagues, and the competing teams will be composed entirely of home-grown players.

Competitors dream of tasting victory and experiencing the special atmosphere of the MCG – the home of Australian Football – to hold aloft the International Cup.

But equally important, football builds lifelong friendships. I’m sure the 2008 International Cup will provide

I've seen first-hand how people throughout the world are embracing the greatest game in the world.

To be able to bring Australian Football people together in Warrnambool and Melbourne will be a highlight in a year of celebration.

Listen, listen – can you hear what the game is saying to us:

Don’t fence me in.
The future is now.
  
 
Kevin Sheedy

First developmental officer at the VFL in 1974 at the Richmond FC. I have never left the job.




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