More To The Story: Australian Rules Football

Dave meets some guys trying to start up a team in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Australian Rules Football is by far and away the most popular team sport “Down Under.”

It’s been around since the mid 1800’s. But only an organized sport here in the USA for the past 25 years or so.

North Georgia has a small league. And a group of men are now attempting to put together a team here in Chattanooga. The first of its kind in Southeastern Tennessee.

They throw around that oval shaped ball on Saturdays, practicing right under the walking bridge!

“You have a lot of mixing of sports. There’s volleyball passing, there’s basketball dribbling, there’s punting, there’s going up for balls like it’s done in football. Rugby is a similar sport. But it’s not rugby. We’re sure.”

31 year old Zaq Pearson got into the sport because he says there was nothing else to watch on TV during the pandemic.

The team goes through drills every weekend. On this day, Wayne Kraska from the AFL team in Rome, Georgia is on the scene, helping teach the game to these hungry newcomers.

Kraska grew up in Melbourne, Australia. At one point in time though, he was the head coach of the USA Women’s National Team. He understands the games beauty.

“The camaraderie of the game is the best part. We Aussie’s love to have a good time. Just enjoy the friendships and maybe have a beer afterwards.”

Zaq Perason says he hopes the new Chattanooga team will be up and running soon. But he’s going to need more help. More to the point, he’s going to need more bodies!

“I know Chattanooga likes to play. We’re a competitive bunch in this town. And people are always looking for new things to do. We need guys! So if you’re looking for something new. Come on out. Every Saturday. Here at Coolidge Park!”

And don’t worry, Zaq might be able to help you AFTER the game. You see, he’s a trained massage therapist!!
Dave Staley, News 12 Now

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, More To The Story With Staley, Sports – Local Sports News