by Adem Saricaoglu
Schools from Melbourne's west, including St Albans Primary School and Sunshine Harvester Primary School, took over the Whitten Oval on Wednesday.
More than 300 kids from several schools around Melbourne took part in AFL Victoria's Multicultural Schools State Cup round robin competition to help attract new followers to the game.
AFL stars, North Melbourne's Majak Daw and St Kilda's Ahmed Saad were on hand for the event as seven boys teams and seven girls teams took battle at the Western Bulldogs training base.
Saad, of Egyptian descent, never played in the TAC Cup but impressed in the VFL before the Saints drafted him.
He said he is living proof anybody from any background can succeed at the highest level of the sport.
"Everyone should just hope for the best and do what they can do and if they’re committed and dedicated and that's what they want, then they can definitely go for it," Saad said.
"There are a lot of opportunities these days for multicultural kids of different backgrounds and nationalities - just as long as you’re good and you work hard for it."
The Sudanese-born Daw said there remains a lot of potential talent that has yet to be seen.
"At the moment it's a pretty exciting prospect that there’s a lot of talent out there that’s still untouched," Daw said.
"It's a challenge and a big risk bringing people from overseas and AFL footy's not an easy environment, but it's also exciting to see what they bring to AFL."