Indigenous Nationals Team Ready For Perth

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Jahan Emery

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Adelaide University Sport’s Indigenous Nationals team have begun training together before the competition later this month.

Over the past couple of weeks members of the team learned the basic rules and skills of volleyball and touch football on the Maths Lawns with the help of Thomas Barone from Adelaide University Volleyball Club and Jordan Blanco from Adelaide University Touch Club, as well as learning netball and basketball at the University of South Australia’s Pridham Hall. The trainings were not only a great way for the team to learn about the sports they’ll be participating in, but also a perfect way to begin bonding as a squad.

Team Captain, Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera who is one of the two staff representatives for the team is proud and excited to be a part of this amazing opportunity. “I’m most excited about the opportunity to be able to take a team of Indigenous students from the University of Adelaide, as a player and captain, to connect with other Indigenous people from around Australia who are at university through playing sport”.

Fellow staff member and team representative Samara Fernandez believes the competition is not only about sport but also an educational. “It promotes sport, but also incorporates education and brings staff and students together. I think it’s a really good opportunity as a student support officer to interact with my students outside of the usual formalities. It means a lot to me because it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved.”

Many of the team members found out about the competition through the Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education program, with a common goal for participants being to connect with Indigenous Australians from different areas through sport.

Participating in the Indigenous Nationals won’t be the only first for team member Kiara Sharpe who will be travelling outside of the state for the first time in her life. “It gives me a chance to have a change of scenery through sport as I’ve never left South Australia before, and it gives me a new perspective of the country I love”.

For team member Amber Sluggett, the Indigenous Nationals are very important as an avenue to increase to promote inclusiveness in sport. “This competition is really important because it’s including everyone, whether you’ve had the opportunity previously or you’re new to doing sport.”

The decision to send a team to the Indigenous Nationals has been timely for team member Joshua Fouyaxis. “It’s my last year of uni so I want to take up the opportunity. I’m very excited to meet Indigenous students from around Australia and have some fun.”

Our Sports Development Officer Thomas Sharpe who will be traveling as Team Manager is looking forward to working closely with our Indigenous Australian athletes. “The opportunity to be involved in something bigger than sport is exciting. Having chance to work so closely with the Wirltu Yarlu Department has been a blessing, and I’m really excited to see what we can do in Perth and the future. UniSport Australia has done a great job alongside major partner BP, to create a fantastic forum to celebrate Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders in not just sport, but cultural awareness. Regardless of the on field success, I’m very proud to be helping create a greater pathway for University of Adelaide Students to be involved in University sport for the long term.”

Our Indigenous Nationals team are excited to be heading to Perth, Western Australia from 23-27 June 2019 to compete in what will be an amazing competition and experience.