Nations of Origin sports events
The Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) of Marrickville is participating in the annual Nation of Origins tournaments at the start of NAIDOC week. The Indigenous-focused sports events are scheduled to run from Tuesday 29 June to Friday 2 July in Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie.
Cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, the four-day sporting spectacular brings together youths from Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds all over NSW to participate in five activities: basketball, netball, football fives, rugby league sevens and (for the first time in 2021) gymnastics.
Each team is made up of 70% Indigenous and 30% non-Indigenous young people. Evolved from a rugby tournament, Origin of Nations was established in 2017 as a multi-faceted sport, cultural, education and leadership program to coincide with the annual NAIDOC week.
NAIDOC Week, which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, takes place between the first Sunday in July and the following Sunday (4-11 July this year). The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
Although it became a week-long event in 1975, NAIDOC has its origins in the 1920s when Aboriginal groups sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
Over 20 Aboriginal nations will be represented in the Nations of Origin tournaments, including the traditional custodians of Marrickville district: the Gadigal and Wangal clans of the Eora nation.
The program has four main components: reconciliation, education, cultural identity and sport.
“Being involved in sport teaches young people important skills such as discipline, patience, communication, healthy behaviours and problem-solving in a team environment,” said Dominic Teakle, CEO of PCYC NSW.
“Nations of Origin brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together through the shared interest of sport, encouraging learning, friendship and acceptance.”
The 2019 tournament brought together over 1400 competitors and 180 event and team volunteers between the ages of 10 and 21 from Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds across NSW. In addition, participants were supported by 300+ volunteer coaches, trainers, managers and supervisors.
For further information, visit:
531 Illawarra Road, Marrickville. Ph: 9559 7722
Youths participating in the Nation of Origins sporting tournament. Photo: supplied