Ladies and gents, please; a giant round of applause for the winner of the ‘Biggest Oversight Of All Time’ competition! The AFL will ~f i n a l l y~ be broadcasting all of the games during their annual Multicultural Round in languages other than English, via their website.
Look, we’re poking a little bit of fun at the the lateness of this development, but this is bloody fantastic thing that a lot of people were waiting for. While there’s a long way to go in terms of nationally televised, free-to-air coverage for OTE speakers, and also the inclusion of Indigenous languages (currently being handled by community radio legends NIRS), this is a step in the right direction for the inclusion of Australian people whose preferred language is not English.
Two people who have had a serious influence on this landmark decision is Jamie Pi and Mandeep Singh. Pi is a Chinese-Australian man who has been commentating AFL games in Mandarin on community radio for the past several years. He said,
“I like to attribute a lot of my personal success to football. Through footy I have met my best mate, made a lot of good friends and learned English. I have learned about perseverance and confidence, living a healthy lifestyle and being fit. It’s given me an opportunity to give something back and I’m doing that now. My dream is that in the not-too-distant future, I can cheer on a Chinese AFL player at the MCG kicking goals for the rest of our community.”
Another commentator, Manpreet Singh, broadcast an Essendon game in Punjabi and Hindi last year, and taught injured Bombers captain Jobe Watson some AFL terminology in both languages. She says both of her sons are devout Richmond fans, and hopes for more Sikh players like Adelaide’s Balraj Singh, who was the first player of Indian origin to be drafted into the AFL:
“Secretly, I do hope that this time round, it’s a dashing young lad wearing a brightly coloured footy patka.”
Here’s the games, languages, and commentators this weekend:
Adelaide v Richmond (Adelaide Oval)
Commentators: George Halkias and Niko Nikolopoulos
Collingwood v Carlton (MCG) and St Kilda v Fremantle (Etihad Stadium)
Commentators: Manpreet Singh and Harbir Singh
Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide (Etihad Stadium) and Melbourne v North Melbourne (MCG)
Commentators: Jamie Pi and Euphie Rong
Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast (Gabba)
Commentators: Hung Huynh and Diana Nguyen
West Coast v Hawthorn (Domain Stadium)
Commentators: Diego Ghiradi and Rick D’Andrea
Geelong v Sydney Swans (Simonds Stadium)
Commentators: Juan Moya and Luis Veliz
GWS v Essendon (Spotless Stadium)
Commentators: Rick Kerbatieh and Wassim Rafihi
These broadcasts will be available via AFL.com.au, and the AFL app. The AFL Multicultural Round is being held this weekend, from August 7-9. For more information and events, you can see the AFL Multicultural Program’s Facebook page.
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