The inaugural Indigenous Netball Tournament was held on the 31st of October at the Tuggeranong Netball Association in Calwell. With over 300 players in attendance there was a great atmosphere to the day, despite threatening weather.
Karen Flick, one of the Tournament Committee members had this to say about the purpose of the Tournament, “We are encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, in particular, to adopt and maintain active, healthy lifestyles. As a committee, we also fully encourage young people to complete their schooling and, as such, have made it a requirement for all Junior players to be currently attending school to compete. It’s a great opportunity for everyone involved to meet new people, have fun, be active, improve your fitness, and compete in the tournament”
With 28 teams coming from the East Coast of Australia, from the far reaches of northern Queensland and all the way down the coast to Victoria, the day was full of talented athletes and strong competition.
Many of the teams were already organising their trips for 2016 to ensure they were present for 2016, promising to bring along more teams to compete for the illustrious title.
The grand final results were:
- Junior Division – La Perouse Panthers defeated Canberra Divas
- Mixed Division – Here Umpire? (Sydney and NSW South Coast) defeated Yurrandaali (Coonabarabran)
- Open Division – Joanee Bird Memorial (Hawkesbury) defeated NJS Storm (Victorian)
Players who showed great passion and skill in the finals were also personally awarded with 3 players of the finals named (one from each division);
- Junior player was Tymekqua Duckett from La Perouse Panthers
- Mixed player was Sean Gray from Here Umpire?
- Open Women’s player was Sarafina Taufa from Joanee Bird Memorial
To complement the competition, Free Face-Painting was offered for the children and those young at heart. NetSetGO was in attendance with 3 programs throughout the day that drew scores of children who thoroughly enjoyed joining in on a sport that is of such importance in their community. Sonia Mklomo was in attendance, much to the delight of many of players, both young and old.