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Participation Doubles at National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout Competition

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The first image shows 3 adult male footballers on a grassy oval on a sunny day. One is facing the camera, the others are facing away from the camera.The second image is an action shot of 2 girls of late primary school age on a grassy oval playing football
The National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout competition.
9 Jan 2019

A surge in popularity has pushed the National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout competition to new heights, attracting more than 500 players to Dubbo last month.

The number of participating teams doubled in 2018 compared to 2017 when the competition was first held.

Event organiser for the Quit B Fit Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, run by the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service, Samantha Ah See said a range of sponsors signed on in 2018.

“It has been exciting to watch the event grow and we look forward to seeing what 2019 event brings,’’ she said.

“In 2018 we had several sponsors jump on board to assist with the event and we are grateful for their involvement.”

The competition brought together a wide range of ages, from U10s to open aged mixed teams, from Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Bourke, Wollongong, Wellington, Dubbo, Gilgandra and Canberra.

“The competition aims to bring together Indigenous community in a bid to promote healthier lifestyle choices and highlight the importance of making informed health decisions,’’ Ms Ah See said.

“In particular the event aims to highlight the QUIT B FIT – Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program and give participants an avenue to seek information and advice about the harmful effects of tobacco smoke on individuals and families as well as seek support for referral pathways.

“The event is a fun-filled family weekend that is alcohol, drug and smoke-free. It brings together families and communities for some outstanding touch football games, in a bid to raise awareness of the impact tobacco smoke has on Closing The Gap.”

The image is an action shot of 5 primary school aged boys playing football. One boy is running with the ball, there are 2 boys are running behind him and there are 2 boys running towards him from the side.
The National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout competition.

Newcastle Brothers United U14s player Kynan Toomey, who was part of the winning team in the U14s division, said it was more than just a competition.

“(I joined) to play alongside my brothers and create memories representing our families and culture and playing the game we love – touch footy,’’ he said.

Kynan said helping to coach younger players was also enjoyable. “The junior divisions are still progressing and will hopefully get bigger and stronger every year," Mr Toomey said. 

"The highlight was definitely winning the championship but also playing against the younger divisions and teams. We enjoyed mixing with them and showing them some new skills of touch. Meeting my little cousins and playing against them and alongside them is a memory I’ll never forget. Newcastle Brothers United is more than just a football team. We are family.”

The ability to connect with family at the event was also important to 11-year-old Levi, of the Wiradjuri mob.

He played in the U12 Koori Kaama and joined the tournament to have fun with his cousins.

“It was better than I thought,’’ he said.

“I got two ties and we won the competition. (The highlight was) getting a medal and some prize money.”

Levi said he learned more about how to stay healthy. “Keep away from smoke and stay active,’’ he said.

The image is a team photo of a large number of primary school and early secondary school aged children.There are 8 children sitting or kneeling in the front row and 12 in the back row. The photo is taken from a side angle.
The National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout competition.

The results of the National Indigenous Touch Football Knockout were:

Junior Boys - Under 10s:

Runners Up - Googars

Winners - Nanan Kids

Junior Girls - Under 12s: 

Runners Up - Gomeroi Sisters

Winners - Koori Kama Young Guns

Junior Boys - Under 12s:

Winners - Koori Kama Young Guns

Junior Girls - Under 14s:

Runners Up - Redfern All Blacks

Winners - Awabakal

Junior Boys - Under 14s Final:

Runners Up - Kamilaroi Sandy Goannas

Winners - Newcastle Brothers United

Women’s Open Final:

Runners Up - Bunji Girls

Winners - Koori Kama Doobays

Mixed Open Final:

Runners Up - Koori Kama

Winners - Watch The Feet

Men’s Open Final:

Runners Up - Castlereagh All Blacks

Winners - Trackz

Find out more

Photos are courtesy of Darkeye Photography and Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service.

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