“There aren’t many sports like this open to women in Colombia so this is such a unique opportunity, I want to share it with my countrywomen far and wide,” Karen Cienfuentes, a team captain said.
Australians have also put their hands up to play, with just a few linguistic challenges.
“It’s pretty hard to understand their accents, even in Spanish. So the trick is to just say ‘yes’ and then play with the ball until they blow the whistle,” York Micheal Penalosa said of the Australians involved.
The Bogota Bulldogs have begun an Auskick-style program called “Kanguritos”, or little Kangaroos, partnering with charity foundation Buen Punto to give children in state care a sporting opportunity.
The Australian government has provided support to the program through the local embassy.
The club’s ultimate aim is to make it to the next staging of the AFL International Cup in 2020, a Melbourne-based tournament for non-expatriate AFL players.
“I hope the club keeps going so we can make it to the international AFL cup in Melbourne and represent Colombia there,” Erika Poveda, a Colombian national-level rugby player who has turned her hand to AFLW, said.
“We know some Australians have a negative image of our country, like some people do of women; we want to smash those images and kick goals.”