AFL may be Australia’s game, but in PNG young people are starting to adopt the sport and make it their own. In PNG, the goal posts are temporary and the fields are unmarked but the game is growing in popularity and people are keen to play.
On AFL Gala Day in Port Moresby, hundreds of excited kids turned out for a kick. There were skills sessions and a bunch of games, but there was also a drug education lecture, a focus on staying healthy and hydrated and encouragement for the boys and girls to play together.
Pacific Sports Partnerships, Australia’s flagship $29 million sport for development program in the Pacific, works with AFL visionaries who are determined to introduce the Australian game to our neighbours. Not only does the program encourage healthy lifestyles, it also helps empower women through sport and builds cooperation in and between communities. AFL PNG Administration Manager Freda Keene helped coordinate the day and is one of more than a dozen women in AFL development roles in the Pacific.
More information: Papua New Guinea punts on the 'Australian Game'