Cup more than footy

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

GROW­ING up in St Marys, Jay Brookes never knew his grand­fa­ther.

His mother was part of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion and was never able to re­unite with her fam­ily.

Two years ago Mr Brookes tracked down his an­ces­tors and es­tab­lished the Jackie Brookes Cup in the hopes of hon­our­ing his grand­fa­ther.

Jackie Brookes was born in 1902 and grew up in the Blue Moun­tains. He was the first Abo­rig­ine to play foot­ball with white peo­ple.

The Jackie Brookes Cup runs dur­ing NAIDOC Week and in­volves a friendly Teach­ers v Stu­dents touch foot­ball game at Chi­fley Col­lege Mt Druitt and, this year, the Shalvey cam­pus as well.

Mr Brookes said the Cup was a great way to get kids in touch with their Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage.”

“The day also teaches chil­dren a lot about their Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage – a lot of that stuff isn't taught in schools,” he said.

“They just talk about Cap­tain Cook. So it is much more than a foot­ball game.”

Mr Brookes said he hoped to ex­pand the Jackie Brookes Cup fur­ther one day.

“Hope­fully we can ex­pand and have all schools in Western Syd­ney in­volved,” he said.

“We are hop­ing to make it into a gala day in the fu­ture and hold it at Pen­rith Pan­thers sta­dium or St Marys Sta­dium.”

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