The AFL hosted newly arrived migrants from more than 20 countries at Whitten Oval outside of Melbourne, inviting participants to learn the language of Aussie Rules football. Hundreds of participants braved a chilly Melbourne morning, for a clinic on one of the most popular games in their newly adopted country.Report: Abby Dinham
The skills might have needed some fine tuning, but as participants ran through the banner, the enthusiasm couldn't be beat.
Our newest Australians given the opportunity to get acquainted with the local code of football.
Retired AFL player David Rodan says the event uses sport as a vehicle for social inclusion.
"It's all about engagement, I guess showing the new arrivals what we do here and what's important in Australian culture which is playing Australia rules football."
For the second year running AFL Victoria hosted the AMES Australia Cup.
The event invites newly arrived migrants from around Victoria to the day-long event at Whitten Oval, in Melbourne's west.
Western Bulldog's player Jason Johannisen says the potential for AFL to breach the social divide is something he can attest to.
"I came across from South Africa when I was eight years old, and first introduction was through my cousin, playing with his mates and I loved it and I fell in love with the game. So hopefully these kids can do the same."
Participants are shown the skills, then broken up into eight teams to compete in an AFL 9s competition.
The winning team receiving the AMES Australia Cup.
But David Rodan says winning the competition isn't the main goal of the day.
"Just to have a bit of fun, and learn a bit more about the game. If they have a positive experience, walk away happy and know it is a friendly game and they can be involved if they want to, that's a massive win for us."
Many of the participants grateful for the opportunity.
"We didn't have such this game before and I really enjoy it."//"We have many opportunities to show our talent."//
"It's really good to know about every cultures game, especially AFL I love it."
More than 200 people from 20 different countries participated in the event.
David Rodan says it's hoped some will be inspried to now join their local footy club and continue in the sport.
"We know where they're located and the local clubs in their region. We'd love them to sign up we know that could be a hard feat, but we really encourage it because if they have fun out here today hopefully they can continue that throughout the year."