Cup more than footy
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.”
More photos: mtdruittstandard.com.au