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NAIDOC round going ahead despite rain

The Bugle App

Lleyton Hughes

05 July 2024, 9:18 AM

NAIDOC round going ahead despite rainFirst Grade teams wearing their NAIDOC jerseys. Source Group 7 Rugby League.

Group 7 Rugby League will be celebrating NAIDOC week this weekend, 6 and 7 July, with their annual NAIDOC round.


Group 7 Operations Manager, and former NRL and Gerringong Lions player, Ashton Sims had to make some big decisions on Friday 5 July to ensure that, despite the rain, the weekend could go ahead. 


“It would’ve been easy to just call all the games off but we had grounds available, we had green space there. A big thank you to both Shellharbour City Council and Shoalhaven City Council for allowing this weekend to go ahead. It’s a special weekend. It’s a weekend that means a lot to us and a lot of people all up and down the south coast in our region. Now we’re able to celebrate this momentous occasion and move forward,” said Sims.


Senior Kiama Knights wearing the NAIDOC jersey. Source Kiama Knights Senior Football Club.

First grade games will now be taking place at the Cec Glenholmes and Ron Costello Ovals and Sims is excited that Group 7 will still get the chance to celebrate NAIDOC week properly.


“The Narellan Pools South Coast Group 7 Rugby League Competition is really proud to facilitate our NAIDOC round this weekend. To pay respect for our First Nations people all across the South Coast,” says Sims.


“We gave all our clubs the opportunity to engage with local Indigenous artists and come up with a jersey that encapsulates their region, their mob, their area with traditional totems and symbols. And we’ve come out with some incredible jerseys by some incredible artists.”


The Kiama Knights first grade team will be wearing a jersey designed by artists Jarrahna, Kaelen, Harper, Mila and Tyiara from the junior Kiama Knights. The Kiama Knights released the story of their jersey and outlined what each young artist added to it and why.


“Jarrahna wanted to include how we play footy by the sea and wanted to incorporate the gathering place and coastline where we get to meet, gather and play. Kaelen drew a blue whale which is his family’s totem and filled it with symbols for family, friends, Mum and Dad. The whale’s mouth has wavy lines which depict a river where his Indigenous grandparent lives,” wrote the Kiama Knights Senior Rugby League Club.


“Harper also drew a whale to represent her family from the Botany Bay area of the Dharawal (Tharawal) nation. Mila (a Wiradjuri girl) drew the boomerang because her family always comes back to each other. And she drew her totem of the goanna. Tyiara drew a blue whale and meeting place which were incorporated into the jersey design.”


Kiama Knights captain Kieran Poole is thrilled that First Nations’ players will get to combine their culture with their passion.


“For me NAIDOC round is an important chance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to share their culture and stories and represent their people playing the game they love,” says Poole.


“It will be really cool knowing we are wearing something designed by First Nations players from our junior Knights.”


This year's theme “Keep The Fire Burning: Blak, Loud and Proud" encapsulates the unapologetic celebration of First Nations’ identity and invites all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of First Nations peoples are fully valued and respected.