The Australian Football League (AFL) was founded in Victoria in 1897, originally accepting teams from only the state of Victoria until 1982 when one of the teams relocated to New South Wales, the sport is extremely popular all over Australia.
Football has never really excited me, especially the European game, however my father was keen to see a match while visiting and with The Gabba such a world famous stadium for both AFL and Cricket it was a no brainer when the owner of the apartment we were renting asked if we wanted to go with him to a game.
We arrived in the city early to avoid the inevitable crowds and as it was a warm sunny evening walked down through South Bank Parklands to River Quay. One thing that Australia does very well is outside public space, in every major city we have visited there are well thought out areas for the public to sit, eat, drink and relax.
Purpose built areas to swim and for children to play are common place along the coast and in cities, evidently the climate ensures that there is a need for this kind of facility but I feel that governments have gone that extra mile to create relaxing and welcoming environments for the countries inhabitants to enjoy. Built on the site of Brisbane’s World Expo 1988 it was opened to the public in 1992 and has become one of the cities largest cultural precincts hosting large scale festivals and events.
Historically a meeting place for the indigenous Turrbal and Yuggera people it is pleasing to know that the land is still being used for the same purpose hundreds of years on.
Back at the stadium the seats were filling up as we took our place and waited for the match to begin, a quick run down of the basic rules gave us some understanding of the match play and scoring system however as the match began carnage ensued and I instantly forgot what I had just learnt.
The Brisbane Lions were playing The Richmond Tigers and we had been told that Brisbane had won with ease last time they met, however the Lions had recently lost some of their better players and struggled to match up to the well organised and tactically superior Tigers. In the end the Lions lost and the deflated home crowd left in relative silence, their team having had a relatively inconsistent year I think they were resigned to the fact that they would not place as well as they had hoped in the championship.
For us the loss was irrelevant, the game itself was entertaining and we had experienced first hand a true Aussie past time and thoroughly enjoyed it.