The Worimi nation will field 10 teams in an expanded PCYC Nations of Origin sporting field this year.
Teenagers from all Port Stephens high schools will represent the Worimi Aboriginal nation in netball, rugby sevens, futsal and for the first time boxing and basketball when the tournament kicks off on Monday.
“It will be the biggest year this year,” Irrawang High School Aboriginal community liaison officer and Worimi coach Sheridan Noble said. “There’s more sport now that they’ve added three-on-three basketball and boxing.”
Noble, who coaches Worimi’s teenage girls football teams, said she believed they would be “very competitive” this year.
“Representing their area makes them proud,” she said. “Port Stephens has such a supportive Aboriginal community. Having the kids involved in Aboriginal culture, playing together, representing their area, it’s very special to them.”
Nations of Origin 2017:
During last year’s Nations of Origin tournament Worimi fielded 96 teenagers of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal decent in rugby, futsal and netball teams.
More than 1200 teens from 25 NSW Aboriginal nations are expected to take part in this year’s tournament which will run July 16 to July 19.
Futsal is held at Speers Point and basketball in Newcastle but the remaining events are held in venues across Port Stephens.
The rugby will be held at Lakeside Leisure Centre and netball at the Raymond Terrace courts. Boxing will be held at PCYC Port Stephens in Nelson Bay on July 18.
Brooke Roach, the Aboriginal education officer at Hunter River High School and a Worimi coach, said it was good to see mob from nations all across NSW come together for the tournament.
“It has a lot of benefits socially for the kids, but also it furthers their sporting opportunities,” he said. “Either way we’ll be winning because we’re playing.
“There are representative selectors around that watch games during the week. The kids have the opportunity to be selected for NSW Indigenous competitions.”
Monday, July 16
Port Stephens Netball Courts, William Bailey Street, Raymond Terrace
Tuesday, July 17
Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, 13 Park Street, Speers Point
Tuesday, July 17
Newcastle Basketball Stadium 27 Young Road, Broadmeadow
Wednesday, July 18
PCYC Port Stephens 7 Austral Street, Nelson Bay
Wednesday, July 18 and Thursday, July 19
Lakeside Sporting Complex Leisure Way, Raymond Terrace