5 years ago, NCNS worker, Donna Hancock, came up with the idea to show off the natural athletic skills of our Aboriginal kids and their friends, bring schools together, learn about culture, and create a fun competition. And so NAIDOC Cup was born.
This is the fifth year of NAIDOC Cup, and each year it gets bigger and bigger. Bringing around 550 kids from 13 local schools together, NAIDOC Cup is not only a celebration of sporting prowess, but an opportunity to cultivate culture and friendship. As Joy (GM of NCNS) noted, “Aboriginal kids often excel at sport, and by utilising this strength, we can increase engagement with school and civic life – promoting values such as teamwork, and skills such as communication.”
We began the day by herding the 550 kids into one area – can you imagine? – for the Welcome to Country given by Uncle Wes, followed by the smoking ceremony. Then the students split into their groups, ready to go to their activities. Older kids played Oztag or Netball, while the younger kids got to enjoy Aboriginal cultural activities, like traditional games, learning about artefacts, getting their faces painted in the traditional way, and listening to Aboriginal music.
In addition, we had craft activities to enjoy, a message tree, and a free BBQ. We were also fortunate to have students from Cranebrook and Glenmore Park High Schools helping us out.
The schools that were involved are: Cambridge Park PS, Braddock PS, Cambridge Gardens PS, Blackwell PS, Werrington PS, Kingswood South PS, St Clair PS, Mulgoa PS, Samuel Terry PS, Emu Plains PS, Clairgate PS, Kingswood Park PS and Penrith PS.
Winners on the day were:
Netball Seniors – Samuel Terry PS
Netball Juniors – Braddock PS
Oztag Seniors – Werrington PS
Oztag Juniors – Penrith PS
Staff and children alike thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful sunny day, and can’t wait to do it all again next year.