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AFL India Writes To The EAAFL

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by ARFAI,


Published: 8th february, 2013.

239802 (1)Sudip Chakraborty, Secretary General of the Australian Rules Football Association in India has written to the EAAFL in which he describes developments in India and the EAAFL.

His email is reproduced below.

Hello everyone,

Thanks for Including me in this conversation and offering India to become a part of the EAAFL. We would be more than happy to do so. But there are quite a few points that doesn’t put AFL India in the same league with you all at the moment –

AFL India comprises 100 per cent Indian participation and there are no expats playing in the country. Also the only country so far where promotion of the sport has been almost completely driven by the indigenous people. Although we can try and have 4-5 expats join the team if/when required.
We are concentrating on junior development and the newly formed clubs that exist consist of players ranging from 12-25 years old. The only completely senior team that exists is that of the Indian Tigers which represent India at the AFL International Cups. Having worked with AFL Europe for my research on ‘How to promote AFL in Europe’, the biggest outcome has been ‘necessity of junior development programs among the locals’. So we are going the bottom up direction. The next few months will see us dedicate our time to conducting school clinics, a joint effort by AFL India and Global Community Sports. Looking forward to explore opportunities of conducting similar clinics in schools of your countries as well, if anyone is interested.
We started the national championships last year and have decided to make that an annual event, and we will hopefully organise it in Goa this year, a foreign tourists’ paradise in India. Will update you all on the same when things are confirmed and will invite everyone to come over if possible. Along with the national champs, we have thrown open the idea of having a few full-contact games between senior teams, which enables the Indian senior team to participate, along with a club from Dubai, maybe Donguan and I was told a team from Indonesia might be on the cards.
We are also going in a very structured manner and have registered a national federation for Aussie Rules in India with the Indian Government and are registering state bodies under the national body. Once we have 8 registered states, we become a national sports body, can call the Indian Tigers team for AFL International Cups as the Indian National team and also get access to annual grants from the Sports Ministry. But this process has seen myself step down from the President’s post, which has been accepted by the Jt. Secretary of Indian Olympic Association, while I continue my work as the Secretary General. We are looking forward to be accredited by the Indian Olympic Association in the future.
Now coming back to the EAAFL competitions, India is more than happy to join the league, but sponsorship for all the expenses is the major issue. Hope we can work that out slowly and India can be a full time member in a couple of years. We need our own sponsors here to fund the national champs later this year and the Indian Tigers for International Cup 2014 apart from the developmental activities.

If some limited sponsorship is available, I would like to come down to Bali or Balikpapan and experience how the set up works. Am looking forward to work with the AFL in the near future and all the experiences of footy around the world would enable me to fight a stronger case for international footy wherever possible.

Looking forward to hear all your opinions and more than happy to share more information.

Thanks everyone once again.