The ARFAI is the official governing body of Australian Rules Football (popularly called Footy) in India and it implements and supervises all development and promotional activities of the same in the country. The association strives to popularise the sport across the nation and also to build a robust, sustainable foundation which will enable the country to produce top-level players with the potential to challenge their international counterparts for years to come. ARFAI is also working towards making Australian Rules Football a nationally recognised sport in India, to ensure future support for all participants of the sport in the country with opportunities that exit for participants for other national sports in India. Apart from mainstream sporting activities, the ARFAI also undertakes educational programmes to engage school students in Footy activities with a vision to foster Indo-Australian cultural exchange. The ARFAI, in partnership with NGOs across the country, is also involved in social initiatives to facilitate social upliftment through Australian Rules Football.

Registration and Board

The association namely the Australian Rules Football Association of India (ARFAI) was registered out of Kolkata in February 2014 under the Registration of Societies West Bengal Act XXVI of 1961.

The present board of ARFAI comprises 8 members:

Ashim Dawn: President

Ashim, now the Director of Sports at Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM), Kolkata, is the former H.O.D. of Physical Education of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan school in Kolkata, who was instrumental in the initial establishment of the sport in India since 2008 and helped organise the first ever exhibition match of the sport in India at the Bhavan’s school campus back in 2008. Ashim was also the Assistant Coach of the Indian Tigers Australian Football team during the AFL International Cup 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

Sudip Chakraborty: Secretary General

Sudip, also the Head of International Relations of ARFAI, has been involved in Footy activities in India since its inception in 2008 and has also captained the Indian Tigers team in 2011, 2014 and 2017. Having completed his Master’s in Sports Management from Loughborough University in UK (2012), Sudip devoted his time completely towards development of Footy in India till 2016 when he was approached by the Essendon Football Club & the AFL to work with them in Australia. Sudip is now based in Melbourne, Australia and dedicates all his free time to coordinate the work back in India through the leaders on ground. He can also be rightly termed as the Founder of ARFAI.

Mona Kalra: Treasurer

Mona, also one of Regional Development Managers of ARFAI apart from taking care of HR & Finance, has been a part of ARFAI since early 2013 and she is entrusted with the managing of the entire financial and administrative structure of the organization. Mona who has been a sport person herself as a state level Basketball player, has also been the Asst. Team Manager of the Indian team at AFL International Cups 2014 & 2017.

Other members on Board –

Vineet Basu: Former Regional Development Manager and Head of Media & Communications department and now Executive Committee member of ARFAI, has been involved with the sport since early 2013 and had supported Sudip in his voluntary efforts to spread the game across India out of sheer passion for sports. Vineet is an experienced sports consultant in India, having worked as a sports consultant for Sports Authority of India (SAI), Ernst & Young (EY) and Tata Trust.

Priyank Chokshi: A die-hard Footy fan since his time in Melbourne as a post-graduation student, Priyank is otherwise a businessman based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He represented India in 2011 at the AFL International Cup and continued his voluntary support since then for growing the game in India. He then went on to be the Team Manager for the Indian team at the AFL International Cup 2014 and 2017 and is now the National Head and the Disciplinary Committee Head of ARFAI.

Sudhasil Mitra: Regional Development Manager and Head of Game Development and Umpiring department of ARFAI, has been involved with the sport in India since its inception in 2008.

Manju Dixit: A businesswoman who has supported the growth of ARFAI since its voluntary days and highly encourages young individuals taking up charge to drive their own dreams and add value to the society.

Salil Ray: A sports enthusiast apart from being a businessman and a retired policeman (including as United Nations Police Advisor), has been supportive to the establishment of ARFAI as a society and its functioning from the initial days.

Official Point of Contact in the respective states:

West Bengal – Rakesh Ghosh –

Jharkhand – Mahesh Tirkey –

Rajasthan – Mona Kalra –

Maharashtra – Kanchan Pushpa Khurana –

Kerala – Amal Dev –

Tamil Nadu – Syed Ali –

Odisha – Rama Chandra Murmu –

Bihar –

Telangana – Bala Sridhar Babu Iytha –

Andhra Pradesh – Jayaram Kadiyam –

About work

ARFAI is presently carrying forward Footy development activities in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with some initiatives in Chattisgarh and Gujarat as well. There are around 8500 kids kicking about the footy across the nation on a regular basis and the projects undertaken range from pure sporting development to social and educational opportunities. ARFAI received the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) grant from the Australian Sport Commission (ASC) in 2014 to develop Footy in marginalized communities in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. This was in partnership with an NGO named Magic Bus India Foundation, who provided their existing network of coaches and sport participants in marginalised societies across India. ARFAI then went on to successfully receive multiple Direct Aid Programme (DAP) grants from the Australian High Commission / Australian Consulates in India to partner with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) to make indigenous kids from Odisha engage with the new sport and is at present working with NGOs like SEED in Eastern India and NEEDS in Southern India to facilitate development of life-skills through Australian Rules Football. ARFAI has also introduced the sport in several schools across the nation including educational programmes with school children in partnership with the Global Community Sports (GCS) learning methods which will foster all-round physical and mental growth along with global cultural exchange prospects. ARFAI’s latest initiative is the junior development program named IndiKick drawing inspiration from Auskick in Australia to introduce the sport to 8-14 yr old kids in the country.