Father Themi of the Freetown Orthodox Church in Sierra Leone has introduced a new sport, Australian Rules football, in the country during the week.
According to the General Manager of the Freetown Orthodox Christian School, Mohamed Bobson Kamara, the idea to introduce the Australian Rules football to sports loving Sierra Leoneans came through their Australia connection.
He said they met with officials of the sport who expressed their intention to popularize the sport internationally and Sierra Leone was one of the countries they want to start with.
Kamara said plans are underway to register the association with the National Sports Council of Sierra Leone and other sister associations.
He further noted that the sport has already started attracting young boys and men in Sierra Leone with a total of 32 players turning up for the first meeting where an introduction to the rules and movements of the game were done.
According to Kamara, trainings will be conducted every Saturday at the Freetown Orthodox Christian School playing field at Syke Street for a start whilst they continue to spot young talents who will be sent to Aussie Football Academy in Australia through the efforts of the church.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE GAME
Australian rules football officially known as Australian football, also called football, footy or Aussie rules (and in some regions called--erroneously--AFL, after the Australian Football League, the only fully professional Australian rules football league, is a sport played between two teams of 18 players on the field on either an Australian rules football ground, a modified cricket field or another modified sports venue.
The objective of the game is to score points by passing the ball through the team's goal. The main way to score points is by kicking the ball between the two major goal posts. The team with the higher total score at the end of the match wins unless either a draw is declared or a tie-break is used.
During most play, players may position themselves anywhere on the field and use any part of their body to move the ball. The primary methods are kicking, handballing and running with the ball. There are rules on how the ball can be handled: for example, players running with the ball must intermittently bounce or touch it on the ground. Throwing the ball is not allowed and players must not get caught holding the ball. Possession of the ball is in dispute at all times except when a free kick is paid. A distinctive feature of the game is the mark, where players anywhere on the field who catch a ball from a kick (with specific conditions), are awarded a free kick. Australian rules are a contact sport, in which players can tackle using their hands or use their whole body to obstruct opponents. Dangerous physical contact (such as pushing an opponent in the back), interference when marking and deliberately slowing the play are discouraged with free kicks, distance penalties or suspension, depending on the seriousness of the infringement. Frequent physical contests, spectacular marking, fast movement of both players and the ball and high scoring are the game's main attributes.