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ARFAI Social Initiative

Posted on Saturday, June 14, 2014 by ARFAI,


The ARFAI, apart from development of the sport, also uses the sport as a tool for social upliftment. It is involved in various social initiatives across the nation and is focused towards bringing joy to the marginalized communities through the exciting game.

The oldest tie that ARFAI has on the social front is with an NGO in Tamil Nadu called Patchi. This NGO had taken to the educational initiative of Global Community Sports and slowly reached out to more than a 1200 children from backward classes through Footy. ARFAI recognized the good work being done by Patchi and a team representing Tamil Nadu has participated in both the National Championships held till date.

In August 2013, ARFAI bagged the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) grant from the Australian Sports Council (ASC) of the Australian Government for a 10 month project which has started from January 2014. The goal of the project is to strengthen and unify Indian communities through the implementation of a sustainable grassroots Australian Football program in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. The Purpose is to support the development of an inclusive, robust and sustainable grassroots Australian Football model that can be expanded nationally in India.


The project aims to deliver Footy sessions to at least a 1000 children in each of the target states following which there will be a state tournament in each state before October 2014. The players who shine in the state tournament will have the chance to represent their state in the national championship in November 2014. All the sessions which have strict Child Protection Policy (CPP) compliance and there will be regular Monitoring and Evaluation through the M&E structure already in place. During the course of the project there will also be specialized training sessions of the coaches by the parent AFL body in Australia to ensure the level of the coaches are on a steady ascendency.

ARFAI is working closely with Reclink India and Reality Gives in Mumbai where more than hundred kids (including kids from the Dharavi slum) play footy on a regular basis at Shivaji Park and some of them represented Maharashtra in the previous 2 editions of the ARFAI National Footy tournaments. ARFAI officials also take active part in all Footy events held at Mumbai over the course of the year.

Most recently, ARFAI has also had talks with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) over a project to introduce Footy to the marginalized children already being catered to by KISS and its facilities. Through this project, the 2 organizations are planning to each Footy to 1500 indigenous students of KISS of the age group of 12-14. They also hope to create and implement a robust, inclusive, interactive curriculum structure that can be used for all social upliftment projects involving Australian Rules Football.