Subiaco Post publishes article by Swans’ National President on Vietnam Veterans’ Day Blockbuster idea
Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 30, 2012
On 27 October 2012, the Subiaco Post ran an article by Austin Robertson titled, “Kick a goal for Viet Vets”, which looked at the Vietnam Swans’ proposal for the AFL to consider hosting an AFL Match next year on Vietnam Veterans’ Day that would be dedicated to all veterans. The Subiaco Post also ran a side column by the National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns.
The side column is reproduced below.
While we don’t have the scale of the AFL, the Vietnam Swans do have a level of substance with respect to special games.
For example, we do host an annual ANZAC Friendship Match here in Vietnam – in Vung Tau, where the Diggers used to run a Vietnam Football League competition from 1966-1971.
And we do play the Royal Australian Navy for the Phoenix Cup Perpetual Trophy each time one of its ships makes an annual visit to Saigon. The next match will actually be played next week against HMAS Sydney IV.
Further, our players do live and work in Vietnam, often in quite senior positions in government, business and non government organizations.
The Vietnam Swans have used Australia’s signature sport as a vehicle to effectively act as Australia’s unofficial sporting-cultural ambassadors.
With the proposed Vietnam Veterans’ Day Twilight Match, the AFL has an opportunity to create a match of national significance.
The inspiration for the event is the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.
The glue that would hold it all together would be Australia’s signature sport, Aussie Rules.
The signature moment that would catch the breath of a nation would be the minute’s silence at the Long Tan Cross beamed live to the stadium’s scoreboard during the pre match formalities.
The Vietnam Veterans’ Day Twilight Match would be inclusive, dedicated to all veterans, irrespective of the war or peace keeping operations in which they served.
By being inclusive, we would avoid making the same mistake that caused so much pain for some veterans upon their return from Vietnam.
The women and men returning from Afghanistan, Rwanda, Iraq and too many other theatres must also be recognized by the event held together by Australia’s signature sport, Aussie Rules.
- To read Austin Robertson’s article, Kick a Goal for Viet Vets, also published in the Subiaco Post on 27 October, 2012, click here.
- To read the original article in pdf format, click onto Subiaco Post, “Kick a Goal for Viet Vets”, 27 Oct 2012.
- To read other articles about the Vietnam Swans that have appeared in the media in both Australia and Vietnam, click here.