July 24, 2010 — Jonny Coller, a third year student at the Bournemouth-based Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC), will be representing Great Britain at this summer’s Australian Football European Championship.
The event, being held Copenhagen, Denmark and Scania, Sweden from Aug. 1–7, features eight European countries. All sides will be competing for the crown of best Aussie Rules nation in the continent and Jonny’s Great Britain side are pitted with Denmark, Finland, and Iceland in Pool A, playing all group fixtures in Copenhagen.
Aussie Rules is regarded as one of the fastest sports in the world and has similarities to Association Football, Rugby Union, and Gaelic Football.
“Getting £2,000 plus together for me is tough as a full-time student. Money is obviously at a bit of a premium for me at the moment, so I’m appealing to anyone and everyone to help me,” said Coller. “Any donation is gratefully received!”
Jonny describes his progress in the sport — that has seen him go from playing in a regional league to the national team within the space of a year — as a “whirlwind.”
“A couple of friends that used to work at a bar in town, a mixture of Australians and English, played in a regional Aussie Rules football league,” Coller says. “I started playing with them last year and really enjoyed the game. I got called up to into a select league team after a few months of playing and now I have the chance to represent Great Britain next month. I can’t quite believe it.
“I suppose the fact that Aussie Rules is a minority sport in the UK has helped me progress so quickly. I played lots of rugby prior to Aussie Rules, so that also gave me good transferable skills. I’m never likely to have such a great opportunity to represent my country in a big sporting event, so I’m just hoping to be able to raise the funds I need to make this happen.”
Source: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, www.aecc.ac.uk