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Hiroshima to boast new Australian Rules team

  • Tuesday, May 06 2014 @ 09:06 am ACST
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The city of Hiroshima, located in western Japan on the main island of Honshu, will forever be etched in history as the first city to be bombed by a nuclear weapon. On August 6th, 1945 the USAAF B-29 bomber the Enola Gay dropped the device which caused such massive death and destruction.

But since that tragedy the city has become an international symbol of growth and rebuilding, winning the enduring respect of the world to return from such total destruction and become one of Japan’s most beautiful cities.

The oleander is the official flower of the city as a symbol of growth, as it was the first flower to bloom after the disaster. Maybe there could be the spirit of the oleander in the Hiroshima football club as it begins to grow and bloom in this Japanese city of over a million people.

Australian football is back in the beautiful city of Hiroshima. Several years after the inaugural friendly between an Osaka team and an eclectic assortment of eager participants from Hiroshima City, Australian Football has returned. As a city with a very vibrant international community and very strong links with Australia, it is hoped that the team will grow rapidly.

Among those behind the push for a new team in Hiroshima are Matthew Vaughan, who participated in that first game, and Jonathan Cooper, the ex-president of the Osaka Dingoes. But the team is very much in its infancy. Those in attendance at the very short first training run were Japanese, American, Korean, Tongan and Australian.

These players had backgrounds in ice hockey, American football, rugby, distance running and basketball. Clinton Carrick, a 23 year old from Vermont, is looking forward to seeing how the sport compares to his previous sport of ice hockey. Eric Thomson, who has played American football both in the United States and Japan, is another potential key player. Anker Marcus, a New Zealander, runs an Australian and New Zealand themed bar in Hiroshima named 'Southern Cross', and this will be the home base for the new team.

The team which participated in the one and only friendly match several years ago was known as the Hiroshima Hawks, after receiving an old set of Hawks jumpers from the Osaka team. However, a name change is on the agenda. The club hopes to develop a Sister Club relationship with a professional team in Australia.

The Hiroshima Australian Football Club has been established with the intention of participating in the 2014 season of the newly formed Western Division of the Japan Australian Football League. This league will commence after the Japanese summer. An Aussie Rules team in Hiroshima will be a fantastic opportunity to bring Australian culture to Western Japan, and will give the boys in Hiroshima a chance to show the rest of Japan what they're made of. The club hopes to develop links with the international community and are currently looking for sponsors to help achieve those goals.

For more information about Japan’s newest club, the contact details are as follows:

Email: hiroshimaafl@gmail.com

Facebook : facebook.com/hiroshimaafl