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|Sport||Australian rules football|
Aussie Rules International (ARI) is an organisation promotes and develops the sport of Australian rules football internationally. However, it is not recognised by the Australian Football League or any of its affiliates as having any official capacity in this regard. Committed to working with all stakeholders to assist the international growth of the sport, its focus is on:
ARI acknowledges the Australian Football League's (AFL) role as both the keeper of the code and the world governing body of Australian football. As a development body.
In 2005, ARI secured a government grant through Sport England to introduce Aussie Rules as a sport into schools in an effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic and build stronger communities through youth participation. A successful pilot began at Carshalton Boys School in 2003. The school eventually replaced soccer with Aussie rules in their curriculum for 2005. Also in 2005, the Thamesbridge College (Lions) and the Kew College (Crows) contested during the half-time break at an exhibition match in London between the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Football Club in front of a strong crowd of 19,000. A second game also included Carshalton College. During 2005, 13 schools were trialled, with over 1,000 children participating in clinics and 4 schools entering teams in the London Youth Games, which is the largest youth sport event of its kind in Europe.
The Australian Convicts are a touring Australian amateur side, that has played Australian Rules matches in Europe (2003) and South Africa (2005).
Touch Aussie Rules is a non-contact version of Australian football that is currently played in London, UK.
The inaugural EU Cup took place in London on 9 October 2005. The EU Cup was played under the rules of 9-a-side football (full contact) on fields conforming to standardised Rugby or Soccer dimensions (approx 100m x 65m). The primary intention of the tournament was to showcase Aussie Rules with a reduction in the number of players, held on sporting fields that are readily found in nearly every corner of Europe; without any loss in the excitement, skill or quality of the 18-a-side version of the game. The competing teams were Israel, Catalonia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, England, Sweden, Scotland, France and the Netherlands. Belgium defeated Sweden in the grand final.
The Australian Football Multicultural Cup was held in Melbourne, Australia in 2004 and again in 2005 as part of Harmony Day. The aim of the event was twofold: to celebrate Melbourne's ethnic diversity and harmony, and to use the sport of Australian football (as Australia's only indigenous sport) to break down cultural and ethnic barriers. We may come from many different backgrounds but we are all Australians.
A continuing aim is to use both the high profiles of the teams and contacts made during the event to generate interest in developing the Aussie Rules Football in the respective countries. Competing teams have included Australia, Israel, Lebanon, Croatia, Samoa, Tonga, Vietnam, Turkey, Greece, Italy and the United Nations (a team of asylum seekers from 9 different countries).