Danc­ing to mate’s same beat

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH

COWBOYS co- cap­tain Johnathan Thurston says his con­cern for Syd­ney Swans star Adam Goodes’ wel­fare is the main rea­son he will per­form an in­dige­nous dance cel­e­bra­tion if he scores a try against Can­berra this week­end.

A two- time Brown­low Medal­list and AFL premier­ship player and for­mer Aus­tralian of the Year, Goodes is re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment af­ter be­ing booed by sup­port­ers around the coun­try over the last 12 months, prompt­ing the AFL to step in and ask peo­ple to stop.

Thurston is one of the high­est pro­file play­ers in rugby league and along with South Syd­ney cap­tain Greg Inglis and Bris­bane cap­tain Justin Hodges, will per­form an in­dige­nous war dance if they score over the week­end to show sup­port for Goodes and the treat­ment he has been re­ceiv­ing.

“Clearly he’s go­ing through a tough time and I’m sure he’s got a good sup­port base around him,” Thurston said.

“I’m sure his fam­ily and close friends are get­ting around him, his team­mates as well ob­vi­ously and the whole code and other clubs.

“All I’m say­ing, I’m wor­ried about his wel­fare and I want to let him know that I sup­port him and I’m hop­ing that he’s get­ting through this.”

Thurston is the cap­tain of the In­dige­nous All Stars team and is a proud ad­vo­cate of ef­forts to keep in­dige­nous kids in schools.

Prompted by a work­shop with Abo­rig­i­nal ed­u­ca­tion­al­ist Dr Chris Sarra in re­cent years, Thurston has made ef­forts to learn about his Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage as a mem­ber of the Gung­gari peo­ple, from west of Toowoomba.

The Cowboys co- cap­tain has pre­ferred to keep his plans for the dance this week­end un­der wraps, de­flect­ing the ma­jor­ity of the at­ten­tion to­wards Matt Scott’s 200th game for the Cowboys.

Scott said he re­spected Thurston’s de­ci­sion to sup­port Goodes and said it showed the char­ac­ter of the Cowboys half­back.

“He’s ( Thurston) very proud of his in­dige­nous her­itage and he’s been quite open of that ever since I’ve known him,” Scott said.

“I love the pride he takes in it and he’s done a lot of stuff with his fam­ily about go­ing back and learn­ing more about his and his fam­ily’s past.

“It says a lot ( about him) and I hear there are a cou­ple of guys who are think­ing of do­ing it ( the dance) and good on them.”

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

LEND­ING SUP­PORT: Cowboys co­cap­tain Johnathan Thurston plans to do a war dance if he scores a try to show sup­port for AFL leg­end Adam Goodes.

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