After years of trying, I was finally invited to Mozambique in February 2011 to meet with the organisers of the Games. The purpose of the trip was to lobby for the inclusion of Australian football as a demonstration sport. This was accepted and I was thrilled, but it did not allow much time to organise things as the Games were on just 7 months later!
We did get there, however, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience (see the footage above and below).
Australian Rules football made its debut at the Africa Games in September 2011 in Mozambique. The two competing teams were Mozambique and the Deadly Roos, an Aboriginal team from Australia.
Many of the players were young Aboriginal men in the at-risk category i.e. affected by issues such as youth crime, substance abuse and poor academic performance.
Participation in the Africa Games was a great opportunity for these young men to turn their lives around through their passion for footy. Apart from the match, they conducted junior coaching clinics, sharing their love of the game with children from Mozambique and South Africa. An amazing trip and experience!