Three videos were released to launch AFL Multicultural Round 2017 in Sydney today, and continuing the theme of 'many cultures, one game', one of the videos follows the story of Giants and Crows fan Gurpreet Singh Grewal.
July 28-30 is Round 19 of the Australian Football League and it is being marked as AFL Multicultural Round 2017. The Round was formally launched at Old Government House (Paramatta) today, in the presence of AFL Multicultural Player Ambassador and Sydney Swan Aliir Aliir, GWS GIANTS player Tendai Mzungu and GWS GIANTS inaugural AFLW player Mai Nguyenthe.
Also present at the launch was Gurpreet Grewal, the subject of the third film in a film series that celebrates cultural diversity within the game. To watch the video, click here
Speaking to SBS Punjabi today, Gurpreet Singh Grewal said, "I've been a footy fan ever since I was in primary school in Adelaide. At that time, I was a Crows fan, just like my friends, and I enjoyed playing footy at school, in the park, and even outside the Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)".
"We moved to Sydney in 2000 and after a few years, when a new team GWS Giants was created, I became a foundation member - I have been a Giants supporter ever since."
"When I go to watch a match, I usually wear my saffron turban, which also happens to be the colour of the Giants. So yes, my turban really does stand out among the fans."
'Although I've never played footy at a competitive level, I hope my son will play it one day - and I encourage everyone in various communities to participate as well," said Gurpreet Singh Grewal to SBS Punjabi
AFL General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch was also present at the launch and said, “We see more than ever that the community level and grassroots football is starting to reflect the cultural diversity within our country, and the work we do through our Multicultural Programs – with our community inclusion partner Australia Post – needs to be credited.”
Ms Hosch explained that the round was an important reminder to AFL fans and the wider Australian community about embracing the cultural diversity within our migrant nation.
“Whilst it will take time, we are firm in our commitment to have the elite game being truly representative of the cultural landscape of Australia," said Ms Hosch.
“As we celebrate the sixth Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, we currently have 117 players in the men’s competition with multicultural backgrounds, 14 per cent overall, and 21 of them having been born overseas. Whilst 17 of this year’s AFLW players have multicultural backgrounds.
“Our iconic game provides a harmonious and safe platform for all to feel included in Australian society and to have various cultures and linguistics celebrated,” she said.
Program of matches below (all local times) and match day activations:
Friday July 28
- Hawthorn v Sydney Swans at the MCG, 7.50pm
Saturday July 29
- North Melbourne v Melbourne at Blundstone Arena, 1.45pm
- GWS Giants v Fremantle at Spotless Stadium, 2.10pm - AFL Multicultural Festival 12 -6 pm http://www.gwsgiants.com.au/multicultural/schedule
- Port Adelaide v St Kilda at Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm; Curtain Raiser – Grand Final Multicultural Power Cup, 2.05pm
- Gold Coast Suns v Richmond at Metricon Stadium, 7.25pm; Curtain Raiser (NEAFL) – Gold Coast Suns v GWS Giants, 3.45pm
- Carlton v Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium, 7.25pm
Sunday July 30
- Western Bulldogs v Essendon at Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm
- West Coast v Brisbane Lions at Domain Stadium, 2.40pm
- Collingwood v Adelaide Crows at the MCG, 3.20pm; Curtain Raiser – Herald Sun Shield Girls Grand Final, 12.45pm
Highlights of the 2017 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round
- Sherrin match ball with the word ‘Welcome’ in six languages (Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, Greek, Italian, and Arabic)
- Bilingual 50m arc marking in six languages
- #ManyCulturesOneGame written on the field in place of afl.com.au
- Umpires to wear orange wristbands and orange goal flags to represent harmony
- Multicultural Round theme LED signage around venues
- Video stories to be played on the big screens around all venues
- There will be pre-game entertainment and a number of clubs will have special on-field jumpers celebrating the diversity of cultures within Australian Football
- Thousands of new fans and communities will experience live AFL action for the first time through the AFL MyPassport program which has been supported by Australia Post