Those who have ever kicked a Sherrin know how tricky mastering the finer points of AFL can be. Throw in the facts that English is not your first language and you’ve never seen a game of Australian football and it only gets harder.
That was the task that was set for a number of local international college students who took part in the inaugural International Colleges McDonald’s AFL 9s Cup on a Friday night recently at Yeronga.
Staged as part of the AFL Queensland World Fiesta, teams from QUT International College, Griffith University, Education First and South Bank Institute of Technology battled it out in the McDonald’s AFL 9s format, with some modifications to make the game easier on these new students of our game.
While there was some initial confusion as players grasped the rules, the teams quickly learnt basic tactics and how they could gain an advantage on their opposition.
Play was halted for a short time when the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS mascots, Roy and Sunny Ray, stormed the field for ‘selfies’ with the players. But focus returned to the field and it was South Bank who took home the trophy.
While the South Bank students were obviously pleased with their new silverware, it seemed to matter little, as players were more interested in who made the most new friends from other colleges and how they were all getting to The Gabba to watch QClash10.
About the teams:
Education First Language School – a language school offering short and long term programs to international students based at South Bank. EF have hosted AFL programs for the past three years and have provided a number of international students with work experience with AFL Queensland.
Griffith University International Mates program – a program run by Griffith Uni to assist international students in their transition into Australian studies. The Griffith Mates are a diverse and vibrant team of current Australian and international students dedicated to welcoming new students and enhancing their experience. The mates represent a wide range of nationalities, speak approximately 30 languages, and are here to welcome and support students throughout their journey at Griffith.
QUT International College – QUTIC, a part of QUT, offers English language and academic pathway programs for international students. Their students come from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, and use excursions and sporting events as opportunities to socialise and learn more about Australia culture.
South Bank Institute of TAFE – features students from across their broader cohort have been brought together to experience AFL in a fun and friendly way. The team has been led by SBIT staff member John Howard (not THAT one), who oversees programs to assist students in settling into studying in Australia.