ISON Park will once again a hub of football action next week when it hosts the fourth annual National Indigenous Championships.
The South Nowra event, in its fourth year, will see 15 men's and 14 women's teams compete across three days of exciting competition.
On top of that, for the second straight year, the tournament will feature an under 14s section, with nine boys and eight girls sides nominated.
"As we are in our fourth year now, it's all about continuing to build on the past success of this tournament," said tournament director from the Wreck Bay Sharks Bernie McLeod.
"There's a number of exciting changes too, which will help us to continue to appeal to the wider community."
The tournament, which is supported by both Football NSW and the FFA, will start on Wednesday with the 'Kickin with a Cuz' clinic, for students in year 3 to 5, from 10-2pm - which will be run former Socceroos Jade North and Luke Wilshere.
Later that day, the Welcome to Country and tournament's official opening ceremony will run from 4-5pm.
Action will kick-off at 9am Thursday and run through to Saturday - with the women's and men's grand final at 3pm and 5pm respectively.
Following the completion of the tournament, four Australian Indigenous sides will be selected for the Trans-Tasman Football Series 'Clash of the Cultures' tour - in New Zealand.
In its third year, January's tour will mark the first time the two under 14s team will travel internationally to represent their country.
"The National Indigenous Football Championships and Clash of the Cultures tour gives Indigenous athletes a platform to show what they are capable of on the field," McLeod said.
"Given the right opportunity, Indigenous athletes can achieve great things - just look at the AFL and NRL.
"In terms of their footballing skills, Indigenous players have been compared to Brazilians, thanks largely to their speed and creativity.
"On top of providing the athletes this platform, we also offer them financial support where we can, to help them chase their dreams - take this year for example, where we helped a number of players in the NPL competitions."
Related content:Exciting championships end on great note
During this year's event, which will feature teams from Peak Hill, Kempsey, Canberra, Batemans Bay, Wallaga Lake, Tamworth, Dubbo, Armidale, Newcastle, Grafton, Cairns, Illawarra and of course the Shoalhaven, will also involve a celebrity game (Saturday) and an Elders Indigenous walking football program from 1pm on Friday.
"We introduced the Elders event last year and it was really well received, so we brought it back even bigger is time around," McLeod said.
"It's so special to have them involved in our event, as they have all played such big roles in our athlete's lives.
"We are also hoping to use this as a springboard to establish an Elders competition in the Shoalhaven."