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Westies on board

Friday, 5th July, 2019

Ben McInerney (left) and Lucy Doolan in the new Indigenous guernseys that the West Football Club will wear on Saturday as part of AFL Broken Hill’s Indigenous round. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling Ben McInerney (left) and Lucy Doolan in the new Indigenous guernseys that the West Football Club will wear on Saturday as part of AFL Broken Hill’s Indigenous round. PICTURE: Andrew Gosling

By Tyler Hannigan

The West Football Club will turn out in their brand new Indigenous guernseys this weekend as part of AFL Broken Hill’s Indigenous round celebrations.

West are the third local club to implement Indigenous guernseys, after North and Central. West’s guernseys have been designed by Patrick Ferguson, with assistance from West player Ben McInerney, Ferguson’s cousin, and Ben’s mother Denise.

McInerney explained that the design encompassed both the Indigenous culture and the West club.

“It means Malu Inma, kangaroo ceremony,” he said.

“The beginning of new life and lore as we are going places, which our club is, and the back represents the barren land of the Yawarrawarrka people, which are my people, and its water holes.”

West FC vice-president Karen Gosling said that the guernseys have been on the agenda for quite some time.

“It was a project that I had been working towards for two years and the finished product is awesome,” Gosling said. 

“The reaction from the players, members and supporters has been overwhelming. I am very sure that the players will wear them with pride on Saturday.

“I want to thank Ben, Denise and Patrick for the hard work that they put into the design, and ISC and Naemi National for coming on board to sponsor the guernseys, the club really appreciates it.” 

The Robins will wear their new kits in all three senior grades against South this weekend as part of local football’s Indigenous round which kicks off NAIDOC week celebrations.

As part of the round, a welcome to country will be read by Aboriginal elders prior to the start of both senior games and there will be a stall set up at the Alma Oval to showcase Aboriginal culture with traditional foods for people to sample at no cost.

On top of that, the four clubs have been encouraged to involve their Indigenous players at the coin toss for each game, from under 13s through to seniors.

Heading up the off-field activities, along with Corinna Flentjar, is former player Phil Kickett who said that they wanted to do something different this year.

“We wanted to bring something a little bit fresh to the round this weekend,” Kickett said.

“So we’re heading to the West-South game (where) West will be wearing their new Indigenous guernseys. 

“We wanted to bring our culture, our flavour to the game so we’ll be having some ‘bush tucka’ at the ground, some traditional foods, stews and damper as well as a didgeridoo player and a welcome to country before the games by an elder.”

Kickett said that there is a drive from all involved to continually improve the Indigenous round, as well as NAIDOC week as a whole.

“I think every year we strive to better NAIDOC week and do it the best that we can,” he said.

“AFL Broken Hill is doing that and we hope that all four clubs come to that party and all have Indigenous guernseys in the future.

“We recently sat down with (AFLBH board member) Brett Cumming and talked about how great it would be to have a NAIDOC trophy or award for Indigenous round, at both games.”

 

NAIDOC WEEK EVENTS

Some of the events to kick off NAIDOC Week:

SATURDAY

AFL Broken Hill’s Indigenous round.

SUNDAY

Noon: ‘Top End Wedding’ free event at the Silver City Cinema. 

Free popcorn and drink on arrival.

MONDAY

10am: Flag Raising Ceremony at the Civic Centre

Noon: Barbecue at 123 hub on Creedon Street.

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