Indigenous teen AFL players tour China


The Flying Boomerangs AFL team made up of teenage Indigenous players is currently touring China.

AFL has long been a popular sport with Indigenous Australians, and the Flying Boomerangs team is part of the game's Indigenous partnerships program.

Comprised of talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 14 to 15, the personal development and leadership program has been designed to help educate the next generation of Indigenous stars.

The team is currently in China and player Christian Miller-Sabbioni said he has discovered similarities between Indigenous and Chinese culture.

“Aboriginal people who live in remote communities and out on remote islands don’t really want to move because it’s their culture,” Miller-Sabbioni said.

“They don’t want to be pushed into Western civilisation. It's the same with these people. They would rather live like this than go live in apartments.”

Ali Fahour, head of Multicultural & Indigenous Partnerships for the AFL, expects Indigenous participation in the sport to continue to grow.

“In 2016, 10 per cent of AFL players came from Indigenous backgrounds, if you compare that to the population of 3 per cent, we are over represented,” said Ali Fahour, head of Multicultural & Indigenous Partnerships.

“You think about the untapped talent out there in this community and how much they can offer the game.”

The team has played matches against the Port Adelaide Aboriginal Academy and the AFL China side as part of the tour.

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