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Australia meets Wisconsin this weekend!

The United States Australian Football League (USAFL) brings its National Championships to the Soccer Complex of Racine (SCORe), 9505 Dunkelow Road, Caledonia, on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 13-14). As many as 60 teams are expected.

Australian Football, nicknamed “footy” is an exciting, physically demanding game played on a huge oval- shaped field (approximately 200 yards long). Each of the 18-member team players is allowed to move the ball (also called a “footy”) using any parts of their bodies. Points are scored by kicking, hitting or running the ball through the goal.

Real Racine, the county’s official destination marketing organization, is coordinating the tournament logistics. Real Racine Events Director Cari Greving says the USAFL National Championships is much more than a sports tournament.

“This is going to be very special for the players and the entire Racine area. There is already a lot of buzz about this event,” Greving says. “We invite the community to watch this exciting sport and cheer these incredible athletes.”

The competition is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Organizers are bringing four men’s divisions, two women’s divisions, a juniors clinic, multiple development programs and more than 60 matches — all in one action-packed weekend. Admission is free – bring a chair. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The matches will also be live-steamed via ESPN3.

The Australian Consulate public affairs team from Chicago will have a tent at the tournament site to distribute free information and souvenirs. Culver’s of Racine is making an exclusive custard flavor with Tim Tam cookies (an Australian favorite) that will be sold on site both days.

Another tournament highlight is the Mateship Cup, a special footy match to be played at 2 p.m. Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of United States and Australia troops fighting side-by-side at the Battle of Hamel in France during World War I. Featuring members of both the Australian and US military, teams will be wearing specially designed uniforms and play for the honor of hoisting the Mateship Cup given by the Australian Embassy and the USAFL.

Commemorative Mateship Cup jerseys will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the jersey sales will be split between Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin and Girls in the Game, a Chicago organization dedicated to empowering girls to be game changers.

The Racine area and SCORe are no strangers to Australian football. This weekend’s tournament is the third USAFL event to be held there.

“I would like to personally thank Real Racine for their continued support over the years,” says USAFL Operations Manager Doren James. “Racine hosted the Central Region Tournament in 2015 and extended great hospitality to our women’s team during their 2016 training camp. We’re excited to bring the National Championships to Racine for the first time.

Know before you go! To watch a video tutorial of “footy” click HERE To learn more about the USAFL Nationals in Racine, click HERE

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...