To fight the marginalisation of players coming from diverse backgrounds, the AFL dedicates Round 19 to the seven most dominant migrant communities in the country.
“Over 14 per cent of AFL players are multicultural, meaning they are born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas,” AFL associate Dr Nikos Nikolopoulos, who will be commentating Round 19 in Greek, says.
“Among the favourite multicultural stars in the AFL are Essendon’s David Zaharakis, Melbourne’s Jimmy Toumpas and Collingwood’s Patrick Karnezis.”
Nikolopoulos believes this initiative will help many first and second generation Greeks who are interested in the sport to enjoy the games in their native language.
“Through sport we have a chance to promote messages like participation, equality, help and fun, through inclusion”, Nikolopoulos adds.
“Via our national sport, we can build bridges with the Australian community at large, which the Greek community is a major part of.”
If you are eager to find out how the word ‘Sherrin’ translates in Greek, the Adelaide v Richmond game at the Adelaide Oval on Friday 7 August is the perfect opportunity.
Renowned community developer, psychologist George Halkias will also commentate on the game in Greek as AFL’s multicultural ambassador.
The 50m lines on the playing field will also be marked in Greek to reflect our community’s contribution to the sport, while the word ‘umpire’ will be translated into seven languages and printed on the back of shirts to be worn during the AFL’s multicultural round in round 19.
The first ever AFL Multicultural Festival celebrating ‘Many Cultures, One Game’ will be held at the MCG in Yarra Park at the Collingwood v Carlton game on 8 August from 11.30 am-5.30 pm.
Meanwhile, from 14 August-31 October 2015 the Immigration Museum will host a photographic exhibition showcasing multiculturalism in Australian Football.
* All matches will be broadcast in the corresponding language on AFL.com.au and the official AFL Live app.