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Inaugural Footy Tournament in Odisha – ARFAI-KISS Cup 2016

Posted on Monday, April 4, 2016 by ARFAI,

Simon O'connor at the toss of the Girls' Grand Finals - Kangaroos vs Tigers

Simon O’connor at the toss of the Girls’ Grand Finals – Kangaroos vs Tigers

The inaugural Australian Rules Football tournament in Odisha christened ARFAI – KISS Cup 2016 was held at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) campus in Bhubaneshwar on 19th and 20th of March, 2016. This tournament was the showcase of a year-long Footy training imparted under the Direct Aid Program of the Australian High Commission in India, delivered by ARFAI in collaboration with KISS.

The tournament comprised both boys and girls where 8 boys teams named after the AFL clubs like Tigers, Crows, Bombers, Swans, Giants, Kangaroos, Dockers and Eagles, and 4 girls teams namely Tigers, Swans, Bombers and Kangaroos participated.

Tournament on the way

Tournament on the way

This time of the year being the start of summer with the weather being pretty hot and the sun right up there could not dampen the spirits of the players and everyone was up for the challenge. The matches were played in two parts, one during the start of the day and then again in the late afternoon to avoid the scorching sun. The tournament started with the national anthem of India which got the players excited to showcase their willingness to win the coveted inaugural trophy at Odisha.

Footy skills on offer were of very high quality and it was very evident that the kids practiced hard during the year and took the game very seriously. A huge share of this achievement goes to the ARFAI coaches who travelled to Bhubaneswar thrice to update the kids on skills and knowledge about the game. Marking and kicking was top notch from most of the players which made almost all the matches very competitive and all the teams were fighting for a place in the semi-finals.


The Director of KISS addressing the players

In the end the Crows, Bombers, Swans and Kangaroos made to the semi-finals for the boys and the girls fought directly for a place in the Grand Final. The Crows and the Bombers made it to the Grand Final for the boys by defeating Swans and Kangaroos respectively in close fought encounters. Simon O’connor, Third Secretary at Australian High Commission and in charge of DAP program, Dr. P.K.Das, Director of KISS, Mr. N.M. Mohanty, the Principal of KISS, Indian Footy team Captain and Secretary General of ARFAI Sudip

The Champion Crows team for the boys

The Champion Crows team for the boys

Chakraborty, ARFAI Treasurer Mona Kalra and ARFAI board member Sudhasil Mitra were present to grace both the Grand Finals which started with the girls match. In a very closely contested game between the Kangaroos and the Tigers, Pupren Oram led the Kangaroos to a well-deserved win over the Tigers to lift the trophy for the girls. For the boys, the Crows led by their all-star captain Rama Chandra Murmu defeated the Bombers convincingly to be crowned as the first champions of Australian Football in the state of Odisha.

The presentation was a celebration of footy in the state where all the teams were presented with medallions and certificates while the ‘Runners’ and the ‘Champions’ were also awarded trophies for brilliant display of skills and teamwork on the field. Individual prizes were also awarded with a host of goodies (AFL and ARFAI merchandise) which will surely encourage the players at KISS

The Champion Kangaroos Captain for the girls

The Champion Kangaroos Captain for the girls

to continue playing the game and develop their skills and knowledge of the “greatest sport on earth”.

Lastly but surely not the least a big acknowledgement for the ARFAI officials who worked tirelessly both during two days of the tournament and also before it to get everything in place for the grand success

Cheers to many more tournaments in Odisha as Simon O’connor signed off saying “Hope to be back here next year for a bigger tournament of Footy!”