On Saturday I happened to be in the CBD when hundreds of uniformed sportspeople began streaming into Federation Square. There were teams from South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, USA, Tonga, Finland… the list goes on.
As it turns out, 10 August was the kick-off of ‘IC14’, or the International Cup 2014.
The sport? AFL.
Having never been particularly interested in Melbourne’s home-grown sporting obsession, I had no idea that Australian rules football had gone global. Eighteen countries are represented in the cup, with eighteen men’s teams and seven women’s teams slugging it out in the mud over the coming weeks.
I may not be a footy head, but I’m a culture junkie through and through. Footy just got a whole lot more interesting.
You can catch games at the McAlister, Ransford and Western Ovals in Royal Park, Parkville during August, with the grand finals taking place at the MCG on 23 August. There is also a community round on 16 August, which will be played in various outer Melbourne suburbs and regional towns across Victoria. View the full IC14 fixture here.
Dates: 13, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 August
Where: McAlister, Ransford and Western Ovals in Royal Park, Parkville