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We met Essendon Football Club at The Couch!

WHAT is it like to meet stars from the Essendon Football Club? Cherry Lee tells us all about her experience.

Photo: Andrew Coulter

Photo: Andrew Coulter

On May 29, representatives from the Essendon Football Club visited the Couch on behalf of the GLoBALL program. The purpose of the event was to promote “footy” – the word used by local Aussies referring to Australian Rules Football.

“The idea behind these activities is to engage international students with all the excitement of the AFL culture – be it the game, the teams, the players or the interesting conversations one can have about the sport. It’s also about connecting people and empowering communities through sport,” Gary Lee, who is an AFL Community Ambassador and one of the event organisers, said.

So what is footy, and how much do our members from The Couch know about this traditional sport that originated in the state of Victoria?

Carlos from Colombia, who has been in Melbourne for the past nine months, is very new to the sport.

“I had no clue what footy is, and I was only interested in soccer. I’ve never watched any footy matches, and I have no idea why the game is so popular here in Australia,” he said. “But tonight, I saw people are having fun here and I would like to get to know something about it!”

In contrast, local Melburnian Leah has very strong feelings about the game.

“I grew up with footy and I love it! It gave me a lot of beautiful childhood memories,” she said. “It’s a family bonding activity, and I usually play footy with my family on the weekend. Besides enjoying with family, you can also choose to learn to play footy in school PE classes; it is so much fun!”

According to Essendon Football Club’s Multicultural Development Officer Salim Mahazi, most footy players are local Australians, but they are trying to promote the sport by holding different kinds of activities such as the Footy Night at The Couch with their lovely mascot, Skeeta.

“We already achieved some results by encouraging more international students to take part in footy, and I believe in the near future more and more international students will get to know this cool sport,” he added.

Want to score free tickets to a footy game? It’s not as hard as you think!

“We hand out more than 1000 free tickets for footy matches to international students every season,” Mr Mahazi said.

“If you are an international student, all you need to do is to register on our GLoBALL website and you can get a free ticket,” he added.

Want to know more about Aussie rules footy? Check out GloBALL’s website!

For more information about events at The Couch, do visit their official website and Facebook page.

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About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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