At India Unbound we have been privileged over the years to have the opportunity to contribute to projects that we care about and that benefit the local communities in different ways.
A program we initiated and have passionately supported for more than five years provides sports and recreational opportunities for young people in Mumbai. You might be surprised to know that the most popular sport in the program is Australian Rules Football. What started with Lincoln having a kick-to-kick with some young guys in the neighbourhood where he lived in Mumbai has evolved into an intra-city league with around 150 regular players. Additionally we support the annual Mumbai Footy Cup and the Maharashtra state team’s involvement in the AFL India national championships each year.
‘It’s an absolute joy to be involved in Mumbai’s Aussie Rules program, to see people overcome barriers to participation and to see the sport nourish among young players from all walks of life and nearly all corners of India. Two of the things I am most proud of are helping to organise India’s first annual women’s match and making it possible for many players to travel interstate for the first time.’
‘Playing Aussie Rules has given me an identity. Before I started playing people saw me as just a chai wala, now they see me with that strange shaped ball and they know me as “the footy guy”!’
‘In 2015 we were fortunate enough to travel to India through India Unbound. An undoubted highlight was the opportunity for our 17-year-old son to be invited to join a group of young footballers at one of their training sessions in Mumbai. The experience of playing Aussie Rules in the heart of Mumbai with a group of highly enthusiastic and talented locals was one that my son will never forget and further enhanced our enthusiasm to visit this wonderful country again.’
Paul and Edwina Griffin, Adelaide
It’s possible to attend Aussie Rules training and matches and meet the players in Mumbai. They love having Aussies come along and will make you feel most welcome.