Sport has been a passion for educator and sports broadcaster since Giorgios Grosios was an eight year old playing for the Oakleigh Football Club. His love of sport has transcended soccer and he is the Greek face of Australian Rules Football on the Multilcultural AFL Footy show airing on Melbourne’s C31 television station.
Mr Grosios who joined the Friday evening review and preview show this year, has also covered sport as a volunteer broadcaster for Vision Australia Radio (1197 AM) for the past ten years.
“The Multicultural Football Show features a panel of three to discuss, review and preview all the matches. The show is in English but the panellists are from different ethnic backgrounds: Harvir Singh (Indian), Gabriel d’Angelo (Uruguayan) and the host is Vanessa Gattica (Mexico). I do a five-minute commentary which is a new feature of the show,” said Mr Grosios.
The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) produces the TV show for the C31 studio in Melbourne. The Australian Football Leagues supports the show as a means to promote Aussie rules footy to the various ethnic communities of the city.
The show has been a success, but that there are concerns that C31 could lose its broadcast licence in the latest shakeup affecting community broadcasters.
“While soccer is a global sport that you can follow all over the world, Aussie Rules footy is the national sport and it has helped the kids of new migrants to assimilate to Australian society,” said Mr Grosios.
And the sport has had its Greek stars over the years, including Ange Christou, Anthony Koutoufides, Spyro Kourkoumelis and Vasil Varlamos. Not to long ago, the CEO of AFL was Andrew Demetriou.
Mr Grosios who is a Professional Services Officer at Victorian Institute of Teaching and a former teacher said his loved sport from an early age.
His parents who had emigrated from Greece in the 1950s enrolled him into the Oakleigh Soccer Club when he was just eight years old. He was to play the game to university level. He also played footy at high school level and enjoyed playing the game.
“It was soccer in summer and footy in winter. A lot of Greek migrant kids too to AFL as it was a great way to assimilate with the non-Greek kids.
“Up to the 1980s AFL was very community focussed up . Historically the game was based in the suburbs and was very local. In the 1990s as the game became more national and it turned away from amateurism to being a professional and national sport.
“The beauty of the game then was that supporters were connected to the club but the sport is becoming disconnected from its fan base.’
As with soccer in past days, footy changed with the introduction of professionalism. Where players had day jobs as teachers, tradies or pub owners, now the game is the only life for the professional players. Where the game was more freeflowing and attacking in its nature, it has become more regimented and tactical, says Mr Grosios.
AFL is an indigenous game but has evolved tactically and is influenced by developments in other sports.
“At the end of each season (AFL) coaches look at other sports such as basketball, rugby, soccer and even field hockey to apply to the game here,” said Mr Grosios.
Broadcasting sport is a great passion for Mr Grosios.
“To be a sports broadcaster you need a great turn of phrase, knowledge of the game and the players and you need to be able to provide insights into the sport,” he said.
♦ The Multicultural AFL Football TV show is broadcast on C31 to Melbourne and Geelong on Thursdays at 6.30pm. In Adelaide it is shown on C44 on Friday evenings on on subscription TV on Aurora-Foxtel on Saturday noon. You can also watch it on the NEMC YouTube sight.
The show is also available a weekly podcast through the Community Radio Satellite Network. AFL newspodcasts are available in a number of languages including Greek.
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