AFL collaborates with Australian Sikh Games for the first time

The opening ceremony of the 27th Australian Sikh Games, Perth Source: Photo by Preetinder Grewal

The Australian Football League has become the Gold Sponsor of the Australian Sikh games and will be playing an exhibition match during the games.

The 30th annual Australian Sikh Games, to be held at Adelaide (SA) from 14th to 16th April 2017 will be a totally new experience this year.

The Adelaide games will witness the start of a new chapter for AFL’s diversity engagement strategy, leading them to collaborate with the Australian Sikh Games.

AFL, or the Australian Football League, is the professional competition in the sport of Australian rules or ‘Aussie rules’ football.

Nickie Flambouras who is AFL’s Multicultural Programs Manager at NSW/ACT told SBS that this collaboration will help introduce this game to the Indian community.

Below listen to Nickie Flambouras's full interview (in English) with SBS Punjabi's Preetinder Singh Grewal:

Until now AFL had a difficult task to reach to the new migrants who have never heard of Australian football, which is a unique Australian game with little exposure in the international circuit. 

But now with a particular focus on the delivery and evaluation of the league’s multicultural programs nationally, AFL has started reaching to the new settlers of the country especially the South East Asian countries.

Kids playing footy
Punjabi kids at a footy ground in Melbourne

AFL’s Multicultural Programs Manager for NSW/ACT, Ms Flambouras told SBS that AFL is committed to reach migrant communities for a better engagement.

“With the influx of people coming in from India to Australia it is important we use sports as a vehicle to connect with new migrants and introduce them to Australia’s sporting culture.”

“We want to give young people and adults the opportunity to participate and to become fans of the game.”

“Our main focus is on building long standing relationships and connections with key leaders, community organisations, families and young people of the Sikh community.”

“The AFL would like more people from the Sikh community involved in our game across all areas of our business.” 

The Australian Sikh Games are a representation of the Sikh community’s competitive spirit and the event forms an integral part of the community’s social calendar. 

The Games draw crowds of up to 45,000 people over three days of carnival during which 1,400 athletes compete in 14 different sports.

Athletes 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 and related events.

For the first time in the Games history the South Australian Tourism Commission will also be a Major Sponsor for the annual Australian Sikh Games.