Northern NSW Football has launched the NAIDOC Cup, a tournament for First Nations’ coaches and footballers aged 14-16 years old.
Male and female teams representing Northern NSW Football and Football NSW will face off on Awabakal land, at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Wednesday 6 July.
Annelise Rosnell, Northern NSW Football’s, Female Participation and Inclusion Officer says “The event coincides with NAIDOC Week (3-10 July) and is a celebration of First Nations’ communities, culture and football.”
We will be inviting players and coaches into a training camp before the Cup that will include a cultural immersion activity.” Say Rosnell.
Commitment to First Nations football
The NAIDOC Cup is an important part of Northern NSW Football’s plans to increase opportunities for First Nations’ coaches and footballers.
“The Cup together with the RTC Group NNSWF Talented Indigenous Scholarships are about connecting with the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.” Says Northern NSW Football’s Chief Executive, David Eland.
“We want more football opportunities for First Nations communities. This is a chance to identify and showcase the next generation of coaches and players.” Says Eland.
Cup driven by First Nations consultation
The event is a partnership with Football NSW and driven by Northern NSW Football’s Indigenous Reference Group.
Reference Group member and Kamilaroi man, Mick Hugo who lives on Awabakal land, says “Working with NNSWF allows First Nations people a voice and to be represented and the needs of our communities understood. We are thrilled by the tangible impact this will have for our youth and coaches in terms of furthering their football journeys and connection with culture.”
Visually First Nations culture will be on display through playing strips that represent this year’s NAIDOC Week theme of “Get up, Stand Up, Show Up”.
“Our playing strips have been designed by Casey and Tia Manton and will provide players with a connection to culture when they take the pitch in July. Casey and Tia have created a deadly design for the players.” Says Hugo
Bringing NSW together
Bringing teams together from the north and south of NSW is a celebrated occasion.
Football NSW CEO, Stuart Hodge said “This is an exciting initiative that will honour and respect our Indigenous football community who will relish the opportunity to take part in such a high-profile event.
“We have many talented Indigenous football stars that I am sure will represent NSW with pride at the inaugural NAIDOC Cup.”
Thanks to partners RTC Group
The Northern NSW Football team will be sponsored by RTC Group, who as the inaugural partners of the Talented Indigenous Scholarships, continue to partner with Northern NSW Football on these Scholarships and other First Nations’ football initiatives.
RTC Group founding director and executive chairman Richard Claut said his organisation values supporting equitable outcomes for underrepresented communities.
“RTC Group is recognised as a leader through partnerships helping our local community.”
“NAIDOC Cup footballers and coaches will be role models in their communities and will encourage others to follow in their footsteps. We are proud to play a part in this fantastic initiative.” Claut said.
NAIDOC Cup details