A new sport is set to make its debut in Bogotá with the scheduling of the capital’s first Australian Rules Football game. This fast-paced and intense sport has attracted fans around the world and there are teams in several other South American countries, but this will be the first time it has been played in Colombia.
Despite being one of Australia’s most popular sports, with the Australian Football League boasting some of the highest attendances of any sporting competition in the world, few people in Colombia are familiar with the game. Aussie rules, as it’s better known, is an eye-catching combination of skill, speed and strength.
The game originated in Australia during the 19th century and was played on cricket pitches during the cricket off-season, so it’s the only form of football played on an oval field. It’s also played with an oval ball not too different to the one used in rugby. Another similarity is that it’s a full-contact sport with lots of hard tackling.
Australian Rules Football, first training in Colombia
Saturday November 28, noon, all welcome
Colegio Inglaterra, Calle 170 # 15 – 68
For info check AFL Bogotá on Facebook or contact Tommy Dutton on 321-2723528
However, Aussie rules differs from rugby in its lack of an offside rule. Players move freely around the field, kicking and punching the ball to one another and scoring by passing the ball through sets of posts located at either end of the pitch.
Eventually, AFL Bogotá would like to set up two teams to play each other monthly in the city and then form a Colombian national team. But for now the organisers are just looking to organise fortnightly kick-arounds that are open to all – including those who are new to the sport – in an attempt to familiarise people with the sport, generate interest and have a good time.
By Kieran Duffy