AFL China: On the Beach
By Sharon Soares - Zone Writer/Photographer
In the hours before the AFL China game in Hawaii, a full day of interviews, media, pictures, practice, and fun on the beach was had by all. Yes, fun on the beach. After work, there should be time for play, right? The players and coaches met up on Waikiki beach for the first ever All-Star beach games. It turned into an exhibition of fun instead of a race, but everyone participated in one form or another.
Two pontoon boats took off the shore of the beautiful Waikiki beach. One had 6 members of the West coast All-Star team and one had 6 members of the East coast All-Star team. The challenge was to go out and back 3 times, apparently. This took 28 minutes according to one referee official on site, for one team to complete the rounds. The other ref said his team took 26 minutes because he didn’t count backing up the pontoon onto the shore. The refs continued to argue about times so both teams won and lost by default.
More players took turns on the pontoons, the refs took a shot at the pontoon, and other players and Coach Dolezel took off on surf boards. It is unknown if any actually rode the waves, but they at least attempted a paddle out to some peaks.
After all the fun in the water, AFL China provided a beach tailgate for the players with drinks, Teriyaki hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips. Players sat around on the beach eating their meals and watching the sunset on the beautiful shore. It seemed to be a great bonding experience and once again, one of many events they will experience along this journey.