Friday, May 09, 2008

Footy in Russia

Spring is settling in at last, and that means more opportunity to get outside and play some sport. Today is a public holiday (Victory Day) in Russia, so I was hopeful to have a game of some kind with the local kids. I packed my bag with my footy, baseball bat and tennis ball and headed over to the local sports ground. The baseball bat was for a game of Lapta (the kids have just been using sticks), if that were to happen.

When I arrived, there were four kids taking shots on goal with one of the two local forms of football. I wasn't going to rain on their parade, so I quite shamelessly started kicking and bouncing the ball around at the other end of the field (not full size). After a little while, one of my friends, Rustam was coming by and he joined in kicking with me. We have had a kick once before. Rustam enjoys kicking the footy a lot, and it was very therapeutic for me to get a chance to have a kick, especially after the long Winter.

With the two of us now playing, this attracted more attention from the local kids as we were able to kick the ball further and higher. I could see that some of the kids were interested so I sent them some kicks. It proved a little difficult for a couple of the boys and they just tried a couple of times, watched some more and played soccer again. One of the boys, Vlad was really keen to join in. He had great ball handling skills. We got talking, and it turns out that he plays in a Rugby team. There are five professional Rugby teams in Krasnoyarsk, and according to Vlad, lots of junior clubs. This kind of suggests to me, that Aussie Rules has the best chance of take up in the world, where ever Rugby is played, as the ball was not a problem for him what so ever. Vlad asked me if he could do a Rugby pass in Australian Football. I explained that Aussie Rules is a cousin of Rugby's and taught him the hand pass. He had no problem picking this up either. It was all a bit of good fun. For an Aussie Rules club to be formed anywhere in the world, it helps to have enough expats to start the thing off, so I can't ever really see that happening where I live. But a kick to kick is good enough for me. As we finished up for the day, the kids asked me when we were going to play cricket. Hopefully tomorrow.


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Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your story about kicking the footy in Russia, awesome stuff, I've just gone through bringing footy to the French-Canadians. Cheers.