Multicultural footy carnival to kick off this weekend

Darwin will host the Australian Football International Multicultural tournament for the first time this weekend.

Monique Van Der Heyden, NT News
August 11, 2022

This article was published in the NT News in Darwin on 11 August, 2022. To view the original article, please click here.

OVER 100 Territorians from culturally diverse backgrounds will face off this weekend for the Australian Football International World 9s competition.

Following the success of the annual 9-a-side tournament in Melbourne the competition has landed in the Top End for the first time.

Australian Football International CEO Brian Clarke said the aim of the event is to “celebrate Darwin’s multicultural diversity and harmony”.

“The World 9s is a powerful vehicle for bringing communities together,” he said.

World 9s Darwin jumpers

Christos Gikas (Greece), Leroy Larson (NZ), Daniel Fuller (Pacific Chiefs), Maurice Hughes (Ireland), Will Ku (Timor), Thomas Motlop (Larrakia) and Yashua Strothers (USA). Picture: Floss Adams.

Eight teams will step onto Rugby Park on Saturday – Larrakia, Greece, Ireland, Pacific Island Chiefs, New Zealand, USA Marines, Darwin Lions and Timor-Leste Crocs – and while the USA Marines have never played AFL Joe Dipietro believes their fitness will help them over the line.

Timor-Leste Crocs footy

Multicultural footy cup boys warm up and get ready for an intense training. Picture: Floss Adams.

“Any kind of athletic competition is right up our ally as Marines,” he said.

“So this was a really great opportunity and we are excited to represent the United States.”

Mr Dipietro said playing footy has helped him settle into his 6 month rotation in Darwin.

“No matter who I talk to I know we will at least have one thing in common, football.”

The tournament will kick off at 10am Saturday at Rugby Park, Marrara.