Canterbury Australian Football League

Canterbury Australian Football League

Canterbury Australian Football League

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The Canterbury Australian Football League is an Australian rules football competition in New Zealand and is one of the Leagues governed by AFL New Zealand. The modern era of Australian Football in Christchurch can be traced back to the undaunting efforts of George Lanyon. Spurred by hearing that local physical education students were wanting to learn about AFL, George decided it was time to establish the game he had left behind in Melbourne in 1963. In 1974 he called a meeting of interested parties by advertising in the local paper, at a cost of $60, resulting in the formation of the Canterbury Australian Rules Football Association, which became known as the CARFA.

Players used to meet at Cuthbert’s Green and teams were picked on the day. Soon a rivalry developed between those that used to drink at the Keys Road Band Hall (the Kangas) and those that drank at the Avon Football Club (the Keas). Th game attracted the attention of leading sportsmen, such as All Black big man, Jock Ross. Modern day founder of Windflow, Jeff Henderson, also tried and succeeded at Aussie Rules while attending university.

In those days, the best player of the season would earn himself the George Soulous medal, in honor of the man who did great work in promoting and playing the game in the mid-70’s, particularly by reporting the game on Christchurch radio each weekend.

The game had even spread to Ashburton by 1976, kicked along by the Sullivan family, whose boys would play rugby on the Saturday and...
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