ARFAI


The ARFAI is the official governing body of Australian Rules Football (popularly called Footy) in India and it implements and supervises all development and promotional activities of the same in the country. The association strives to popularise the sport across the nation and also to build a robust, sustainable foundation which will enable the country to produce top-level players with the potential to challenge their international counterparts for years to come. ARFAI is also working towards making Australian Rules Football a nationally recognised sport in India, to ensure future support for all participants of the sport in the country with opportunities that exit for participants for other national sports in India. Apart from mainstream sporting activities, the ARFAI also undertakes educational programmes to engage school students in Footy activities with a vision to foster Indo-Australian cultural exchange. The ARFAI, in partnership with NGOs across the country, is also involved in social initiatives to facilitate social upliftment through Australian Rules Football.

 

Registration and Board

The association namely the Australian Rules Football Association of India (ARFAI) was registered out of Kolkata in February 2014 under the Registration of Societies West Bengal Act XXVI of 1961.

The present board of ARFAI comprises 8 members:

Ashim Dawn: President

Ashim, now the Director of Sports at Institute of Engineering and Management (IEM), Kolkata, is the former H.O.D. of Physical Education of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan school in Kolkata, who was instrumental in the initial establishment of the sport in India since 2008 and helped Sudip organise the first ever exhibition match of the sport in India at the Bhavan’s school campus back in 2008. Ashim was also the Assistant Coach of the Indian Tigers Australian Football team during the AFL International Cup 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

Sudip Chakraborty: Secretary General

Sudip, also the Head of International Relations of ARFAI, has been involved in Footy activities in India since its inception in 2008 and has also captained the Indian Tigers team in 2011, 2014 and 2017. Having completed his Master’s in Sports Management from Loughborough University in UK (2012), Sudip devoted his time completely towards development of Footy in India till 2016 when he was approached by the Essendon Football Club & the AFL to work with them in Australia. Sudip is now based in Melbourne, Australia and dedicates all his free time to coordinate the work back in India through the leaders on ground. He can also be rightly termed as the Founder of the formal ARFAI.

Mona Kalra: Treasurer

Mona, also one of Regional Development Managers of ARFAI apart from taking care of HR & Finance, has been a part of ARFAI since early 2013 and she is entrusted with the managing of the entire financial and administrative structure of the organization and has also been the Asst. Team Manager of the Indian team at AFL International Cup 2017.

Other members on Board –

Sudhasil Mitra: Regional Development Manager and Head of Game Development department of ARFAI, has been involved with the sport in India since its inception in 2008.

Vineet Basu: Regional Development Manager and Head of Media & Communications department of ARFAI, has been involved with the sport since early 2013 and had supported Sudip in his voluntary efforts to spread the game across India out of sheer passion for sports.

Priyank Chokshi: A die-hard Footy fan since his time in Melbourne as a post-graduation student, Priyank is otherwise a young businessman based out of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He represented India in 2011 at the AFL International Cup and continued his voluntary support since then for growing the game in India. He then went on to be the Team Manager for the Indian team at the AFL International Cup 2014 and 2017 and is now the National Development Manager and the Disciplinary Committee Head of ARFAI.

Manju Dixit: A businesswoman who has supported the growth of ARFAI since its voluntary days and highly encourages young individuals taking up charge to drive their own dreams and add value to the society.

Salil Ray: A sports enthusiast apart from being a businessman and a retired policeman, has been supportive to the establishment of ARFAI as a society and its functioning from the initial days.

 

Official Point of Contact in the respective states:

West Bengal – Rakesh Ghosh – rakeshfooty@gmail.com

Jharkhand – Mahesh Tirkey – maheshtirkey40@gmail.com

Rajasthan – Mona Kalra – monakalra17@gmail.com

Maharashtra – Kanchan Bagdwal – kanchanbagdwal@gmail.com

Kerala – Amal Dev – trustme.dev@gmail.com

Tamil Nadu – Syed Ali – syed.ali@hotmail.com

Odisha – Rama Chandra Murmu – aflodishahr24@gmail.com

Bihar – biharfooty@hotmail.com

Telangana – Bala Sridhar Babu Iytha – hydrugby@gmail.com

Andhra Pradesh – Jayaram Kadiyam – jayaramkadiyam@gmail.com

Gujarat – Priyank Chokshi – airpackchangodar@gmail.com

 

About work

ARFAI is presently carrying forward Footy development activities in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with some initiatives in Chattisgarh and Gujarat as well. There are around 4000 kids kicking about the footy across the nation on a regular basis and the projects undertaken range from pure sporting development to social and educational propagandas. ARFAI bagged the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) grant from the Australian Sport Commission (ASC) in 2013 and was funded till the end of 2014 to develop Footy in marginalized communities in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. This was in partnership with an NGO named Magic Bus, who provided their existing network of coaches and sport participants in marginalised societies across India. ARFAI then went on to bag the Direct Aid Programme (DAP) grant from the Australian High Commission in India to partner with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) to make indigenous kids from Odisha engage with the new sport. ARFAI has also introduced the sport in several schools across the nation including educational programmes with school children in partnership with the Global Community Sports (GCS) learning methods which will foster all-round physical and mental growth along with global cultural exchange prospects.