The third consecutive National Indigenous Football Championships (NIFC) kicked off last Wednesday 31st October at the South Nowra Football Complex.
Teams travelled from as far as the Northern Territory, Canberra, Dubbo and Western Sydney to compete in Australia’s largest Indigenous football tournament.
The annual tournament hosted by Wreck Bay Sharks FC and supported by Football NSW saw 38 teams compete across the U14s, Women’s and Men’s competitions with over 400 players and coaching staff in total.
“Football NSW is ecstatic to support and assist one of our Indigenous Community Clubs, Wreck Bay in delivering this fantastic initiative once again. This tournament has continued to grow and in its third instalment we saw the highest participation of players and teams from all over the country,” FNSW Member Services Manager Matt Rippon explained.
The largest Indigenous tournament in Australia kicked off with an ALDI MiniRoos Schools Clinic on Wednesday with four local schools that attracted 110 students who took part in the event. The clinic went through ALDI MiniRoos activities and games coached by FNSW and Shoalhaven District Football Association staff members.
FFA CEO David Gallop made the trip down to South Nowra on Friday 2nd November and was impressed with what he saw including the Elders Walking Football display which saw Mr Gallop join in on the activities.
All six fields were used each day with the inclusion of an U14s competition on Friday that featured the Newcastle All-Stars (Boys) and Djuwin Walimburra (Girls) taking out top honours in the Jade North World Cup Series.
Ex-Caltex Socceroo Jade North also conducted his ‘Kickin with a Cuz’ program for the U14s which was run in conjunction with Luke Wilkshire and National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s side Wollongong Wolves. North also stayed to watch the Open Men’s and Women’s teams battle it out on Saturday afternoon during the grand finals.
The Holcim Celebrity match also kicked off prior to the Grand Finals on Saturday which brought a festive vibe amongst all players.
The winners of the $10,000 prize money Women’s Grand Final saw the Illawarra Bungarras defeat the Yuin Black Cockatoos 4-0, with the Yuin Black Cockatoos defeated Wirrigas United 2-1 in the Men’s Grand Final.