All welcome: AFL encourages inclusion

Come and play: GWS Giants community engagement manager Ali Faraj, player Curtly Hampton and community engagement co-ordinator Emad Elkheir call upon all cultures to play Aussie Rules.

Come and play: GWS Giants community engagement manager Ali Faraj, player Curtly Hampton and community engagement co-ordinator Emad Elkheir call upon all cultures to play Aussie Rules.

GWS Giants celebrated the AFL's Multicultural Round last weekend against Geelong at Spotless Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park.

And the message from the Giants was clear — there's a place for people of all backgrounds in Australia's game.

Community engagement manager at the Giants, Ali Faraj, declared the day not only a success, but vital to the game.

"It's a celebration of different cultures and obviously there are so many different nationalities based here in western Sydney, so it's a good chance to recognise and celebrate them," Faraj said.

"The AFL Multicultural Round is very important for the growth of the game both here and overseas.

"It's all about inclusion and letting people know that our game is for everyone."

Faraj said those foreign to the game shouldn't be afraid to inquire.

"Sometimes people are scared of the unknown," he said.

"We try to make different cultures feel welcome at the game by inviting down different groups.

"At the game on Saturday against Geelong there was Chinese Lion Dancing, henna tattoos, African singers and Arabic drummers.

"People just need to give our game a chance and I'm sure they will fall in love with it."

Indigenous players have long been lauded for the flare they bring to the sport.

Faraj said it was no different with those from all sorts of backgrounds, from Africa to Asia. "On field, players from different cultures can bring a flamboyant style to the game, which the fans love to watch," he said. "From the stands people from different backgrounds can change the way we watch football."

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