The Bali Geckos have just announced details for the 6th Annual Bank Commonwealth Bali 9′s Australian Football Championships which will be held in Bali on 13 October 2007.
This Championship has modified rules and a unique format where there are just 9 players per team and 6 substitutes who play on – a soccer pitch. The games have 2 x 12 minute halves which, according to the organisers, leads to “a faster more action packed game – fun for spectators and players alike”.
The Geckos go on to say that, “the event provides a great opportunity to enjoy footy in Bali – a great attraction for end-of-season club trips or to travel with a bunch of mates to create a team. Entry is now open for teams. With the big interest being shown in this year’s event, it is most likely entry will be on a first in first served basis – so get your entry in today.
“The event will once again be part of commemorative activities honouring the memory of those lost in the Bali bombings and a percentage of money raised on the day will be donated to a local charity that supports those affected by the Bali bombing. The event will also act as part of Bali’s tourist recovery – helping to bring Bali back to its well deserved recognition as Asia’s premier holiday and recreation destination in Asia.”
Jason McCartney and the Bali Bombings
The tournament has a great and growing reputation. At the 2003 tournament, the Bali 9′s received significant attention when ex AFLer Jason McCartney pulled on the Geckos jumper – as did Australian Prime Minister, John Howard.
The two were in Bali for the first anniversary of the Bali bombings which happened on 12 October 2002. McCartney and his Kangaroos’ team mate, Micky Martyn were drinking at the Sari night club when the bomb exploded. McCartney suffered burns to 50 per cent of his body. Initially, his burns had been considered to be relatively quite minor. However, by the time McCartney arrived back in Australia, his condition had seriously deteriorated and he “almost died under the knife”.
Nine months later, in June 2003, McCartney made an amazing return to AFL football in the match between the Kangaroos and the Tigers. He was heavily bandaged, wore a long sleeved jumper and special gloves. He kicked a goal and then did a goal assist in the dying seconds of the match when the Kangaroos were trailing by less than a goal.
Immediately after the match, McCartney announced his retirement from AFL football.
“The sheer courage of McCartney’s return (makes) it one of the most inspirational sports-related stories” says the Wikipedia (click for more details).”
At this stage, it is unlikely that the Vietnam Swans will be able to field a team at the 2007 Bali 9′s Tournament but we will be very keen observers from a distance.
For further information on the tournament, try www.balinines.com