Proudly Jewish

March 14, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Two Jewish teams, one boys the other girls, will compete in the AFL Unity Cup next Sunday wearing their newly designed strips….proudly emblazoned with a Magen David on the front and sporting the Australian and Israeli flags on the back.

The Jew Crew

The Jew Crew

The AFL Multicultural Program and the Australian Federal Police organised training for the 16 male and nine female teams participating in the multicultural event at AFL clubs.

The first training session was held at St Kilda Football Club’s facility in Seaford. With 25 teams enrolled they were expecting a turn out of 250 plus players. In fact, only 19 turned up and 15 of them were from the  Jew Crew…the team name chosen by the Jewish contingent.

Back of the guernsey

Back of the guernsey

Jew Crew Team Manager, Ryan Kuperholz ran a private session this week with his players sporting their new individually designed footy guernsies proudly featuring a Magen David on the front and Israeli and Australian flags on the back.

In a new partnership with AFL Victoria, the Victorian State Government Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship has provided funding to ensure each team has a fresh set of football jumpers. Ryan asked for community input via J-seek on Facebook and a few talented artists collaborated with Ryan to design their versions of a modern Jewish sporting statement. Ryan then posted the best four on J-seek and asked the community to vote. A few hundred people posted their preferences and overwhelmingly favoured the one the team are now wearing.

19-yr-old Kuperholz is coaching the male Jew Crew team and is quietly hopeful that despite coming third in the last two Unity Cup competitions, his team  will overcome strong competitors from the Muslim, African, Afghan, Indian, Pakistani and Aboriginal communities.

Brother, Joel Kuperholz, 21, a veteran of the game with two Premiership wins for his MUJU Team in 2012 and 2014, is coaching an elite group of girls that he thinks could \snatch victory from the many talented female teams notably the African team who beat the Jewish girls in the Premiership game last year.

Ryan, Joel and the Jew Crew teams would love the Jewish community to come out and support them at the Unity Cup on Sunday. The games kick off at 8.30 am for the first game in the round robin tournament and the Premiership game will be around 3.00pm at  J.J. Holland Park in Kensington.

There will be a huge kosher sausage sizzle, food trucks, kids entertainment and AFL players David Zaharakis, Lin Jong, Jason Johanneson, Paul Puopolo, Shem Tatapu and our inaugural Female Australia Post AFL Multicultural Ambassador, Darcy Vescio.


5 Responses to “Proudly Jewish”
  1. Nige says:

    Great to see this, being in WA Its hard to give support . I would love to grab and wear, with pride, the Guernsey, as would my family. can they be purchased and posted to WA?????

  2. Nige says:

    Great to see this, being in WA Its hard to give support . I would love to grab and wear, with pride, the guernsies, as would my family. can they be purchased and posted to WA?????

    • admin says:

      Need your full name to post a comment

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Nige and thank you for your interest! We may have a small number of geurnsies that we could sell and put the funds towards AFL programs to promote social inclusion of marginalised elements of our community. My brother and I are AFL MULTICULTURAL AMBASSADORS and we try to involve people who may not have the opportunity to enjoy our great game. Last year one of our initiatives was taking a group of new immigrants and disabled people for a tour of Collingwood Football Club and then onto a game. (Story covered by J-Wire)
      Email me for the guernsy details if you like.

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