The National Indigenous Football Championships will kick goals off and on the pitch over the next few days.
(min cost $8)
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Over 400 Indigenous football players from 40 teams will take part in the Ison Park, South Nowra based competition from Wednesday October 31.
This includes 16 teams of young indigenous players participating in the Jade North World Cup series.
The event starts with a Welcome to Country ceremony and a program for young players on Wednesday October 31
School children will participate in an ALDI MiniRoos event, focusing on developing ball skills and teamwork.
Tournament Director and founder of the National Indigenous Football Championships, Bernie McLeod, is looking forward to another special event.
“It just keeps getting bigger and stronger,” McLeod said.
“This event is an opportunity to showcase the skills of our First Nations players.
“We have received overwhelming support over the past three years from the football fraternity, the corporate and government organisations involved and the Indigenous communities right across the nation.”
McLeod said men, women and children from across NSW, Queensland, New Zealand, Northern Territory and the ACT would gather together under the theme of ‘strengthen and unite as one’’.
This tournament shows the power and passion of football and how football can bring together people like no other sport can- Bernie McLeod
The Wreck Bay Sharks are the host club of the event.
This year’s event also includes the first ever walking football exhibition match featuring Shoalhaven Elders participating in a game to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being.
Related: Action from last year’s tournament
Related: The 2017 finals
An open invitation has been extended to everyone across all communities to attend this sporting and cultural extravaganza.
There will be plenty of action and excitement on the field and just as much off the field.
McLeod said there was something for everyone of all ages, backgrounds and cultures to enjoy.
“This tournament shows the power and passion of football and how football can bring together people like no other sport can,” he said.
“Through football, we can make huge strides and open doors and pathways previously not available for so many, particularly our kids.
“It is a privilege to be involved in something so special and important and I really just want to thank everyone who has assisted us in making this possible. I can’t wait for kickoff.”
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has officially lent its considerable support to the event with CEO David Gallop scheduled to attend on Friday, November 2.
“On behalf of the Australian Football community, I would like to wish all the players, match officials, volunteers and the organisers to ensure a very enjoyable and successful tournament,” Gallop said.
State governing body Football NSW has also become far more involved in the third annual tournament and CEO, Stuart Hodge, was glowing in his appraisal and support of the event.
“Football NSW is once again proud to support this premier grassroots Indigenous football event,” he said.
“I would like to wish all participants the best of luck in what will be a memorable tournament.”
Shoalhaven City Council, State Member for Kiama Gareth Ward and Member for the South Coast Shelley Hancock all support the event.
Matches start Thursday November 1 at 8.30am with the men and women’s grand finals set for Saturday at 2pm.
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