The 2018 National Indigenous Football Championships concluded on Saturday as the tournament played host to a special Holcim Celebrity match as well as the Open Men and Women finals in what was an amazing week of football action at the South Nowra Complex.
Over 400 Indigenous footballers from 40 teams competed for the $10,000 prize pool and it was the Illawarra Bungarras who reigned supreme in the Open Women’s competition defeating the Yuin Black Cockatoos 4-0 in the Grand Final convincingly.
The Open Men’s finale was a much tighter affair as the Yuin Black Cockatoos pipped Wirrigas United 2-1 to land the coveted Championship trophy.
The annual Holcim Celebrity match took centre stage as a number of local celebrities in the Shoalhaven area along with community members participated in a short but exciting match as a curtain raiser prior to both the Open Men and Women Grand Finals.
The fun continued all through Saturday evening as a memorable Gala Dinner at the Bomaderry Bowling club concluded what was an amazing event that featured Indigenous people and teams from all across the nation who came together to showcase the talent of Indigenous footballers.
Influential tournament organiser Bernie McLeod, who has been a prominent figure in in introducing football across Indigenous communities for over 30 years paid tribute to the tournament.
“This National Tournament marked a very special milestone in Indigenous Football.
“The competition brought together men, women and kids from across New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, under the theme Strengthen and Unite as One.
“This event was an opportunity to showcase the skills of our first Nations players.
“We have received overwhelming support over the past three years from the football fraternity, the corporate and government organisations involved and the Indigenous communities right across the nation and it keeps getting bigger and stronger.
“This tournament showed yet again the power and passion of football and how football can bring together people like no other sport can.”