Australian rules football in Nauru

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Australian rules football in Nauru
Linkbelt1999-Finalspiel.jpg
1999 Grand Final of the Linkbelt Oval
Country Nauru
Governing body Nauru Australian Football Association
National team(s) Nauru
First played 1930s
Registered players 260 (total)
260(adult)
Clubs 12
Audience records
Single match 3,000 (1999). Menaida vs Panzer. NAFA Grand Final. Linkbelt Oval, Aiwo.

Australian rules football in Nauru dates back to the 1930s and quickly established itself, along with olympic weightlifting as the national sport of the country[1]

Structure

The football league system consists of one national league, run by the Nauru Australian Football Association (NAFA), based in the Linkbelt Oval, the country's only active stadium. The NAFA's executives are a president, a secretary and a treasurer, not including the manager of each of the teams. Mr David Dowiyogo who was the Health planner of the Health promotion for Ron Hospital under the auspices of the Ministry of Health developed a health and youth strategy has been nominated new President of NAFA. Members of NAFA are Vice President Mr Dillon Edwards, Secretary Miss Ann Hubert, Treasurer Mr Terrell Dageago, and members Curtis Olsson and Knighton Dowabobo. In 2006 games in the final Series was stopped by the Minister for Sports after thugs, hooligans and bullies violated rules of NAFA leading to new president Mr Dowiyogo being knocked out twice in a fortnight. Those whom who have involved in the violation are reported to have been banned from playing Australian rules football.

History

Australian rules was first played by Nauruan schoolchildren in the 1930s in schools in Victoria, Australia. Among these schoolkids was Hammer DeRoburt. Schools in Geelong and Melbourne in Victoria were popular destinations of Nauruan schoolchildren of secondary-school age.

After DeRoburt left Australia, he headed back to Nauru with a couple of friends and popularised the sport in his hometown.

Participation

There are around 260 players in the Nauru competition, representing an overall participation rate of 2.6% for the country.

Leagues

Senior league

The senior league is made up of 7 teams, with a reserve league of 5 teams. Only two games per week can take place at the Linkbelt Oval, since as of 2005, the Menen Stadium had yet to be built and the Denig Stadium is not suitable for Australian rules games

Teams in the senior league (Elite):

Team Colours From
Menaida Tigers Black and yellow Aiwo, Buada
Panzer Saints red-white-black Meneng
Blues blue-white Anabar, Anetan
Ubenited Power white-black Ubenide
Boe Lions maroon-gold-blue Boe
Aces ? (Anetan?)
Supercats blue-white Nauru

Teams in the reserve senior league:

Team Colours From
Eagles ? ?
Ubenited Power white-black Ubenide
Esso yellow-black Aiwo, Buada
Yaren Magpies black-white Yaren
Frigates ? ?

Audience

The NAFA championship final is an annual event which has in the past attracted up to 3,000 spectators (or 30% of the nation's population). New clubs participated in the competition are BOE Lions, Ace Magpies and Anibare Dockers

International Competition

National Team

The Chiefs are Nauru's national team and compete in various national competitions. Currently ranked 9th in the world, the Chiefs have performed strongly at both the Arafura Games and the Australian Football International Cup.

Juniors

Nauru has sent juniors to the Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament in 2003, but were defeated by both New Zealand and the A.C.T. junior sides.

Sponsorship

The main sponsor of the NAFA is Q Store.

The winning team of the top league is granted a free flight to Australia, courtesy of Air Nauru, the second biggest financial supporter of the NAFA.

See also

Sport in Nauru, Menen Stadium

References

External links

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