Taking celebrations to the court
About 300 netballers hit the court for a celebration of culture at the National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration (NAIDOC) Week Netball Carnival in Perth.
15 December 2008
Held each year, the carnival is supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation's Indigenous Sports Unit, WA Netball, Netball Aboriginal Advisory Committee (NAAC) and Healthway Smarter than Smoking, and brings together players from across WA, including the Perth metropolitan and regional areas such as Bunbury, Katanning and Northam.
Players gathered at the Southern Districts Netball Association's courts in Langford on Wednesday 9 July for this year's carnival, where 30 teams competed across five divisions – Open A, Open B, 17s & Under, 13s & Under and 12s & Under.
About 700 spectators filtered through the gates to catch a glimpse of some future Indigenous netball champions in action and they were not disappointed, with a very competitive and high standard of skills on display throughout the day.
Bunbury's Moorditj Yorgas were among the teams who had a successful day, with the 13s & Under team winning the Grand Final in their division.
Coach Murray Collard said the team played together in a regular Saturday competition and had competed in the NAIDOC Week Netball Carnival for the past couple of years.
"They get a lot out of coming up to Perth for the carnival," Murray said. "They learn to socialise with the wider community and their own people and get to meet other families.
"Where most of the people here today come from, they are mostly all family, but here they can interact with different people, culture and languages as well."
Mr Collard said netball kept the girls busy, healthy and active and helped them to bond with one another.
Katanning All Stars Coach Sasha Dixon, who is the Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer at Katanning Primary School, said her team played together in a regular Saturday competition that was used as an attendance incentive for students.
"If you come to school, you can play on Saturdays and from there, a team is selected to compete in the NAIDOC Week Netball Carnival," she said. "This has brought attendance up to more than 85 per cent for Nyoongar kids."
Ms Dixon said the girls got a lot out of travelling up to Perth for the carnival.
"It's special because they've seen their cousins here," she said. "Coming here to Perth is a big gathering, like a social meeting place, and the girls also benefit from playing sport at a different level as well."
DSR Indigenous Sports Development Officer Marisa Bradshaw said sport, and the netball carnival in general, was a fitting way to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
"Like NAIDOC Week, sport is all about bringing people together and this carnival is not just about the competition, it' s a celebration of sport, cultural diversity and friendship," Ms Bradshaw said.
"The carnival also encourages Indigenous girls to participate in sport while providing an opportunity for those in regional areas to come to Perth and meet new people and other family members in the process."
A team of netballers from the 17s & Under age group hailing from various regions will be heading to Darwin to compete in the 2009 Arafura Games after catching the attention of selectors at the carnival.
This is the first time players from the carnival have been selected to compete at the Arafura Games, which is considered a stepping-stone for athletes in their journey to compete at the highest level.
The finals results for the carnival were:
12s & Under
- Finals Northside Firebolts 16 defeated Yirra Djinda
- Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Rikiya Ryder
- Carnival MVP Rikiya Ryder, Runner Up Shania Alone
13s & Under
- Final Bunbury Yorgas 17 def Girl Power 15
- Final MVP Hayley Farmer
- Carnival MVP Hayley Farmer, R/U Felicia Eades
17s & Under
- West Coasters 19 def Yirra Djinda 14
- Final MVP Clara Garlett
- Carnival MVP Kim Davis, R/U Paige Dunn
- Flames 15 def Deadly Yorgas 9
- Final MVP Emily Perris
- Carnival MVP Tosha McIntosh, R/U Claire Fontaine
- West Coasters 20 def Classics 11
- Final MVP Nellie Hokianga
- Carnival MVP Amanda Winmar, R/U Kylie Eades
To all players and spectators, congratulations are extended for the very important part you played in making the carnival a success.
17's and Under Squad selection:
- West Coasters: Danielle Nelson, Kiara Eades, Corrinda Eddington
- SNSEP: Diane Parfit
- Warriors: Kimberly Davies, Paige Dann
- Allstars: Tearra Eades
- Deadly Yorgas: Kalisha Krakouer, Jacinta Krakouer
- Flames: Brianna Taylor, Iesha Farmer, Jacinta Hansen
- Bunbury Yorgas: Melissa Garlett, Renae Stack
- Yirra Djinda: Clara Garlett, Peserae Garlett, Tianna Ryder, Tegan McGuire, Nadine Garlett, Martika Garlett