This Sporting Life

Bali team finds success in Australia
The Bali Geckos Australian Rules Football Club has returned from a successful tour to Australia. The Geckos travelled to Darwin to play against a combined Northern Territory Super rules team, a team which consisted of many players who had recently played in the Bali 9s Masters tournament. It was the first time that the Geckos had played a game on Australian soil, and it was also the first time that the team had played an 18-a-side game on a full size oval.

The game was played at the same venue that AFL teams Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide had played on the night before. In order to field a full-sized team, the Geckos were joined by a number of players from the Darwin Waratahs team, a club that regularly visits Bali and has a strong relationship with the Geckos.

In a well contested and skillful contest, the game ended in a draw after the Geckos’ Gary Gallagher kicked a goal on the final siren. It was a fitting end to a great game, one which Geckos’ coach Peter Muir thinks will help the Geckos improve as a team. “Our opponents were very experienced and skilled players, with a number of them being professional footballers. We also benefitted from having some great players join to play with us, so we learnt a lot from the experience” said Muir.

After featuring in the Territory’s major newspaper as well as in a live interview on a major Darwin radio station, Darwin’s Aussie Rules followers were well aware that the Geckos were in town. When spotted on the streets wearing their official Geckos touring t-shirts, players were often asked about the team, and passers-by would often be heard calling out support for the team. The Geckos were also approached a number of times during the weekend with inquiries about how teams can go about organising games with the Geckos in Bali.

With the success of the tour, the Geckos are hoping to make the trip feature on their playing schedule every year. “It was fantastic for the club to not only have a game in Australia, but to also promote the club and meet lots of people who were keen to visit us in Bali” said club President Mark Parthezius. “We could in a way be considered as ambassadors to Bali, considering the number of people keen to travel to Bali after speaking with us” he added jokingly.

According to Mark, obtaining sponsorship will be a factor in determining the likelihood of future tours to Darwin. “These tours cost players a lot, and without being subsidized by the club, many players cannot afford to attend” he said, adding that a major push to obtain more club sponsors will take place over the remainder of the year.

The Geckos are now in training for their next major tournament, the annual Asian Championships which will this year be held in Singapore. The Geckos have been runners-up for the past three years, and hope to go one better this year. More information on the club can be found at
Bali Rugby Club players to represent national team
Bali Rugby Club players Nathan Flax and Olly Olsen will be playing in the Indonesian National Rugby team in the upcoming Asian Five Nation Regional Tournament. Another Bali player, Mark Parthezius, was selected in the team but was forced to withdraw due to work commitments. Indonesia will be playing Laos and Cambodia in the tournament in Jakarta hosted by the Indonesia Rugby Football Union.

In other rugby news, a large number of teams from across Indonesia have entered the Bali Rugby Club’s National 10’s tournament. Teams from Kalimantan, Jakarta, Sumbawa, Bandung and Papua will be participate in the event, to be held in Sanur on August 9th as a part of the Sanur Festival.

Large numbers participate in second Bali International Triathlon
The second annual Bali International Triathlon attracted a large number of participants, showing that the race has quickly established itself as a major regional triathlon event. 415 athletes completed in the race, which consisted of a 1.5 kilometer swim in the waters of Jimbaran Bay, followed by a 40 kilometer bike ride along the By-Pass to Nusa Dua and back, finishing with a 10 kilometer flat run through Jimbaran village. Professional triathlete Luke McKenzie of Australia took out a convincing win with a time of time of 2:09:09, winning by more than 14 minutes. The first placed female was Australian Rachael Gaudry with a time of 2:34:46, beating last year’s winner Kelley Toye, who finished with a time of 2:41:56. Both first male and first female place getters received a seven day, six night stay in one of the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay’s famous luxury villas. Awards were also given to the first three finishers in each age group category, as well as to the top male and female finishers of the five kilometer Fun Run.

A team relay race was also a part of the event, as was a five kilometer fun run through Jimbaran village. The team race, which attracted 31 teams, was won by Discovery Kartika Plaza with a time of 2:20:34. Of the 110 fun run participants, Indonesia’s Alberd Kamlasi was the fastest with a time of just 16:44.

The event also attracted major sponsorship from the MRA Group, who has signed a three-year agreement as title sponsors. The MRA Group consists of more than 34 companies, including Hard Rock Café, Harley Davidson, and magazines Cosmopolitan, Bali & Beyond, and FHM. MRA’s involvement in the event is a major bonus in ensuring the success of Bali’s only triathlon.

Copyright ©2008

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