AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL BECOMES MAINSTREAM IN INDONESIA
Melbourne-based Australian football team Krakatoas is excited to share the game with Indonesia and believes it brings positive change to local communities.
Australian football is starting to gain popularity in Indonesia. With more people moving to the country, the sport grows. Due to Australia's closeness to Indonesia, many local teams have been formed in Indonesia. These include the Bali Geckos and Jakarta Bintangs.
Ben Giles, the president of the Jakarta Bintangs, said that the importance of the AFL club is to spread the word about the game to the community.
For Giles, the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is very important to him as he witnessed how the game has affected many kids' lives.
"I know that we have changed a lot of lives and brought a lot of kids into footy. For us, it's just a hobby but for these kids who are now adults it's become a big part of their lives and for me, that's the bilateral relationship," stated Bintangs' president.
Krakatoas gladly share Australian football with Indonesia
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Through the help of AFL Indonesia, the clubs in the country have been able to develop young players and provide opportunities for Indonesians to play the game. One of the Australian teams that have been very supportive of the growth is the Melbourne-based Krakatoas.
After watching the 2014 International Cup, Iain Shearer decided to establish the Krakatoas Football Club to bridge people who have no experience in Australian football.
Shearer explained that apart from providing opportunities for Indonesians in Melbourne, they could also be sent to the country's development program.
"The idea from a football perspective is they [Indonesians living in Melbourne] would go back to Indonesia where they would be planted within the Indonesian development program," stated Krakatoas' founder.
Through the help of AFL Indonesia, the organization aims to expose more Indonesians to the game. They also provide training opportunities for local coaches and administrators.
After training in Australia, the athletes share their enthusiasm for the game with other Indonesians. They then introduce them to the true Australian experience.
Aside from men's football, the number of women participating in the game is also growing. Giles noted that the involvement of women has been a huge boost for the club. According to Shearer, about 30 percent of the players in the Indonesian team are female.
"Everyone wants to get more women involved and currently in Jakarta the local contingent that is training with the Bintangs it's about 30 percent women and local women," Shearer noted.
The presence of the Australian Football League in Indonesia will strengthen the already strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Shearer also noted that it can positively change the local community.
"We can change the world in our community and do what's right and that's what we do," Shearer expressed his view.#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial