I have never been a really passionate sport fan. Before going for exchange, I have never even been to any big stadium to see a sport game. Therefore, I would never guess that “GO TEAM” could be my very first reflection from my new home in Adelaide, Australia. However, exchange is all about trying new things, isn’t it?
The first moment I saw the Adelaide Oval, a big stadium located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide, I decided I have to visit it. It was about 5 minutes before landing in Australia when I was looking at Adelaide for the first time from the tiny plane window. It was already getting dark and all the lights of the city centre were shining. The Adelaide Oval was the brightest and the most monumental landmark as the plane was flying above it. During the first few weeks, I got used to seeing the Oval very often while wandering around the city. In addition, the kitchen window of my new flat is facing it and so I could examine its busy atmosphere and crowds of people coming there to see a game every week.
Very soon I made up my mind and bought a ticket for an Australia football game together with my great new friends. I did not know rules, any of the teams playing and the game was in only two days time. I had a lot to catch up on! First, I decided to get a brief idea about how Aussie football looks like. When I asked a group of native Australian students, they did not hesitate and described it as “something between the European soccer, rugby and quidditch from Harry Potter”. Next, I had to decide what team to support, Port Adelaide or Sydney Swans. I really wanted to experience the happiness and atmosphere when your team wins. Therefore, I checked team rankings and listened to opinions of locals more familiar with football than me and decided for the Sydney Swans that had according to my little survey better chance to win (I know, a bit unfair). I attempt to learn the rules (unsuccessfully) in about 5 minutes before the match and set off full of excitement.
The Oval was full of people, beautifully illuminated and the match more that met my expectations. The game really had elements of the soccer as well as rugby and four high rods at each side of the playground reminded me of quidditch. Fellow fans around me were more than happy to explain me all the rules … many times. AND my team won the match so I could enjoy the happiness from the victory, excitement and very nice, fun and friendly atmosphere everywhere around. If you have never been to an Australia football or any match at all (as me before) I can only recommend to try it!