Why Australia ‘Rules’ in September
If you have been in Melbourne for more than a month and you haven’t heard about ‘Aussie Rules’ football then maybe you have been living under a rock!
Melbourne is a city with many different cultural events and activities throughout the year. But if you want to experience something very unique to this city then this is the month to learn about Australian Football.
If you go to any bar or late night café on the weekend, chances are you will see a strange sport on the TV screen.
Is it like soccer? Not really.
Is it like rugby? Kind of.
Well, what is it? Erm, it’s…it’s just Aussie Rules!
AFL (Australian Football League) is a sport that combines some parts of soccer and parts of other sports like rugby. There are 18 players on each team and the aim is to pass and score points through large posts on either side of the field. It is a very physical game and the players tackle each other in a rough way but don’t worry; you won’t need to do that when you play!
The month of September is the most important month in the sporting calendar as the teams compete to reach the ‘Grand Final’ and win the cup. However, here in Melbourne, it is more than just a game as there are many different events and ways to experience it for yourself.
‘Footy Festival’ Events
The six-day festival is free will give you an opportunity to experience the atmosphere that makes the Grand Final week so special. Get down to Yarra Park at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and join in with the fun!
Yarra Park Festival - Wednesday, September 26th and Thursday, September 27th
Head down to Yarra Park to get yourself ready for the big weekend. You can learn about the game and try and play with many coaches there to show you how to pass a ball and catch a ‘mark’. This is a family-friendly environment and you will be able to learn all about the sport and why it is so popular here in Australia.
Grand Final Parade - Friday, September 28th
Another reason that people here love Grand Final week is that it is an official public holiday in Melbourne! So many people are off work and are free to enjoy the parade which passes from the CBD to the stadium. You will be able to see the displays of different teams and will even get to see the cup that will be awarded to the winning team. This will be a very busy festival with lots of things to do and it will definitely get you in the mood for the big game, including a stage set up in Yarra Park with music provided by many Australian bands.
Grand Final Day - Saturday, September 29th
Finally, the big day has arrived! Tickets for the final are bought and sold for thousands of dollars and are very hard to find but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasion.
There will be music, food and a general party vibe near the stadium with games activities and a chance to watch the game on the big screen! Get yourself down to the MCG to experience the highs and lows of the game with thousands of other spectators.
MCG Open Day - Sunday, October 1st
If you still have ‘footy fever’ after all of that then head down on Sunday to enjoy free access to the stadium and see the event from behind-the-scenes. There is a lot to learn and see about the history of the stadium as well as a chance to have your picture taken with the cup!
So there you go, make September the month that you experience Australia’s number one sporting event of the year, and the best thing about it is that it’s free!