ABC News – Maasai Warriors taking on Sydney Swans XI at SCG in campaign to address social issues
Maasai Warriors taking on Sydney Swans XI at SCG in campaign to address social issues
PHOTO: The Maasai Warriors show former Sydney Swans player Jude Bolton their AFL skills at the SCG ahead of their cricket match on Thursday. (ABC: Duncan Huntsdale)
A cricket match with a difference will take place in Sydney on Thursday night.
Former members of the Sydney Swans will be in action against a team from Kenya, who tour the world to raise awareness of social issues in their home country.
The Maasai Warriors campaign against female genital mutilation and substance abuse, while promoting conservation in their homeland.
Today the two teams met for a training session on the hallowed SCG turf. Swans' dual premiership player Jude Bolton says it is great to play host.
"Just to have a side like the Maasai Warriors cricket team here who are raising some of the social issues happening in their home country, it is extremely special," Bolton said.
The bare-chested Maasai Warriors team, dressed in their traditional tribal attire, certainly set themselves apart playing cricket, one of the world's most traditional sports.
Maasai cricketer Sonyana Mike said members of the team grew up wanting to change what many consider to be culturally unacceptable.
"We use cricket as a tool to spread the word on our citizens" he said.
"We are fighting for women's rights as well. And we are trying to harmonise the communities that we live in."
The Maasai are a nomadic tribe who come from Kenya and surrounding parts of Africa. In their society women get limited education, are usually subjected to genital mutilation, and are married off by their family at a young age.
A documentary of the team will also be released this year, which includes footage of the side's recent tour of England where they participated in a similar match at the home cricket, Lord's.