AFL Academy launched in China
Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 1, 2012
The AFL’s website in an article dated 23 July 2012, reports on a new AFL academy that it has just launched in China. Interestingly, Darren Flanigan will manage the program. He is based in Hong Kong and ran last year’s umpiring accreditation course at the Asian Champs which Swannie, Micky Johnston, attended (and passed!).
See below for the AFL’s article.
The first Chinese Academy has been launched in Guangzhou.
Located at a Guangzhou Sports University campus in the Guangzhou, Guangdong province, north of Hong Kong, the academy is designed to introduce athletes to Australian football and help identify and develop potential elite players who have the ability to transition into Australia and the AFL.
The two-week pilot program began with 27 athletes aged between 17 and 22 who are from basketball, soccer and rugby backgrounds. The academy program will be conducted annually.
AFL international development manager Tony Woods said the pilot academy program is designed to reflect the AFL’s intention in China in a very tangible way.
“We need to find ways to connect our game with the growing Chinese community in Australia,” Woods said.
“We are looking at five to ten years ahead. We need to have a long-term approach and we are in for the long haul.”
The academy has received an endorsement from the Guangdong Sports Bureau following key meetings with high level Chinese Government officials.
“Having the support of the Chinese Provincial Government will open up opportunities for future Chinese athletes,” Woods said.
Former AFL player Darren Flanigan, who is based in Hong Kong, is managing the academy program, which is based on the AIS-AFL Academy. The program is tailored to give athletes an introduction to the game, the rules, skills and the physical requirements to work towards a career in the AFL. The program also includes English lessons and background in Australian culture.
Captain of the Chinese Australian football team that played in the 2011 International Cup, Zhang Hao, is assisting Darren and is poised to become the first full time Chinese AFL Development Officer.
To read the rest of the article, click here.