Contributed by: Brendan Cunningham Sunday, March 26 2006 @ 06:44 pm ACDT
The Jakarta Bintangs proved too strong for hosts the Bali Geckos in an all Indonesian final in the 2006 Santa Fe Bali Nines Masters Australian Rules Football Championships on Saturday March 13th. After a dominant first half, the Bintangs came out convincing winners in front of hundreds of spectators at the Canggu Club, Bali’s first private member’s sporting and recreational club.
After the final, Bintang Coach Grant Dooley praised his players for their efforts, as well as acknowledging the opposing teams for what was a well contested tournament. Apart from the finalists, teams from Singapore and Australia also attended the carnival which followed specially modified rules, the major ones being that teams are 9-a-side and all players had to be 35 years and over.
The crowd was also entertained by a unique Gaelic Football match, as well as netball games between teams from Bali and Jakarta. A junior football clinic was also a part of the day, where participants received lessons on the basic skills of the game and were given a free football.
During the presentations, Tournament Director Peter Muir said the event was a part of assisting with Bali’s economic recovery after the tragic events of last October. “It is great to see you all enjoying a community event, and for the tourists here I hope you all return home with positive news about your trip to Bali.” Muir added that the tournament is expected to attract up to seven teams from Australia next year.
On the day the Bali Geckos donated Rp14,000,000 to Yayasan Sri Kandhi, a local foundation initially established to assist widows from the 2002 Bali bombings. According to a club spokesperson, the Geckos are currently looking at other community organisations that they will also support, in addition to holding regular football clinics for juniors to learn the game.
The event was organised by islandsportz magazine in conjunction with the Bali Geckos Australian Rules Football Club and was supported by Masters Australia Football.
For related information visit www.balinines.com[*1] or www.baligeckos.com[*2] .