Melbourne – With fast growing multicultural communities, Australian football is becoming the sport of choice for diverse communities. And it seemed that Punjabis are also embracing AFL like never before!
Sunday, July 10, provided ample proof of this — the Footy match between Essendon Bombers and St Kilda had plenty of Punjabi ‘tadka’ and created history of sorts.
This year, on Sunday July 10, the AFL, GWS GIANTS and Australia Post brought the AFL Multicultural Festival to Melbourne.
To mark the multicultural round, The Essendon Bombers came on field through a sign written in Punjabi Language that translated in English read as “This is our great club where every culture is respected”.
Alex Morgan handed over the official AFL Multicultural ball to Avtar Singh from the Craigieburn Bombers Auskick centre which was established in 2014 by the Essendon Football Club in conjunction with Football Victoria.
A Free Punjabi buffet was also arranged for Craigieburn Bombers Club and photos of Sikh children adorned the multicultural posters as well.
Etihad stadium burst into Bhangra at half time during the AFL match between St.Kilda Football Club and Essendon Football Club, entertaining thousands of sports fans at Etihad stadium in true Punjabi style.
Sufi Punjabi Singer Kanwar Grewal also attended the Lunch and Bhangra/Gidha ceremony and was presented with Essendon scarf.
This year even though Punjabi commentary was not officially included, this missing part was also covered by Qaumi Awaaz host Gurtej Singh and SinghStation Host Gurvinder Singh, who did Live Punjabi commentary from inside the stadium. Infact the LIVE Punjabi commentary earned more viewers than the official Hindi commentary.
The objective of AFL Victoria’s Multicultural Program is to assist migrant and refugee communities to access football, whether it be playing, supporting or volunteering.
The Saints are acknowledging the people that have contributed to the game and is welcoming new communities to embrace AFL footy.