Delegates from the Japanese city Miyakonojo toured the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex at Burpengary on Wednesday afternoon, as part of a sister city arrangement with the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
The visitors toured the 13 million dollar facilities, looking at the grounds, kitchen area and supporting buildings, while discussing costs and participation numbers.
According to Moreton Bay Facilities Coordinator Christopher Hunt, the visitors, including Miyakonojo’s Mayor Takahisa Ikeda, were impressed with what they were shown.
“They were amazed, impressed, staggered by the size of the field, the fact we don’t charge people to get in (and) the numbers,” said Hunt.
“(Also) the notion that community sport was relatively cheap.”
The guests were also interested in talking about how community football in South East Queensland works and highlighted the difference between the systems, considering in Japan sporting clubs are often privately owned by corporations.
“They were really impressed with the level of facilities for community footy,” Hunt said.
“and the fact that anyone could turn up and just join the club and start to play, (that) it wasn’t based on talent identification, it wasn’t based on invitation, it was just come a long and have a kick.”
The delegates also stuck around for a quick footy lesson, in which they learnt how to handball and received a bag of AFL Auskick footballs as a gift.
“They certainly got an education about footy,” Hunt said.
The trip was organized by Economic Development Support Officer Thomas Handford from the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
By Sean Melrose