Defence, Port Stephens Council win 2019 NAIDOC touch football championship

The fifth annual NAIDOC Touch Football Championship has been run and won for another year with Defence and Port Stephens Council coming out on top.

Staged at Lakeside ovals in Raymond Terrace on Thursday, July 11, the friendly round robin touch football tournament was contested between police, the council, Defence, Department of Education (teachers) and the Worimi Aboriginal community

Port Stephens Council's mixed team won the plate for the first time, edging out the Worimi team on a count back for the award.

Teachers placed third, RAAF fourth and police fifth.

For a fourth year, Defence, largely made up with RAAF personnel, won the men's competition and the touch championship trophy.

The Worimi men's team placed second.

The council placed third, police fourth and teachers fifth in the men's competition.

"It was a really good day," Port Stephens-Hunter Police Inspector Tony Townsend, an organiser of the event, said.

"It's more of a fun day and building relationships.

"Five years and it is still going strong. It really runs itself. Everyone is keen to be a part of it."

Earlier, Thursday:

Police, Port Stephens Council, Defence, teachers and the Worimi Aboriginal community joined together in Raymond Terrace on Thursday for the 2019 Port Stephens NAIDOC Touch Football Championship.

The championship, which has been staged annually during NAIDOC Week since 2015, is this year being held at Lakeside ovals.

Games kicked off about 9.30am, following a traditional smoking ceremony performed by Worimi man Justin Ridgeway, a welcome to country done by Kane Chester and opening remarks by Port Stephens councillor Paul Le Mottee and event organiser Tony Townsend, a Port police Inspector.

About 100 people, fielded in men's and mixed teams, play in the championship.

Games are in a 20-minute touch down, turn around format without half time.

Both the mens and mixed Defence teams, largely made up with RAAF personnel, won last year's round robin touch football tournament. Williamtown RAAF was etched on the championship trophy for a third consecutive year in 2018, a streak they will look to continue this tournament which is due to wrap up some time between 2pm and 2.30pm.

At 2.30pm there will be a mural unveiling at the Lakeside football complex. A mural has been painted by Worimi artist Jason Russell.

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