Worimi elder John Ridgeway OAM said it was a "thrill" to see so many teens come together in Port Stephens on Tuesday for the start of PCYC's Nations of Origin tournament.
"Seeing so many young people from so many different towns here on Worimi land, celebrating Aboriginal culture, it fills my heart," he said.
Nations of Origin kicked off in Raymond Terrace on Tuesday morning. Across four days of competition, 1200 students aged 14-16 from 21 Aboriginal nations will compete in four sport codes (rugby league, netball, basketball and futsal).
Nations of Origin will be staged in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens between July 16 and 19, seeing Indigenous and non-Indigenous students from across NSW aged 14-16 take part in sporting events that, competition results aside, promotes team work, social inclusion and change.
Worimi under-16 boys versus Kamilaroi:
Nations of Origin, now in its seventh year, also empowers youth to celebrate Australia's diverse Aboriginal culture.
The rugby league sevens tournament, which attracts the largest attendance of the four Origin sports, will be held at Lakeside Sporting Complex in Raymond Terrace until Wednesday.
The football fives, or futsal, will be staged at Lake Macquarie Football Facility in Speers Point 8.30am-4.30pm on July 17.
The netball competition will be contested at the Raymond Terrace courts 8.30am-4.30pm on Thursday, July 18, while the basketball competition will be contested at Newcastle Basketball Stadium on Friday, July 19 8.30am-4.30pm.
Nation flag bearers walk on to the field for the opening ceremony:
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