In­dige­nous round hon­ours the um­pires

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - David Sal­vaire

The GNFL’s an­nual round cel­e­brat­ing in­dige­nous play­ers will kick off this week­end with all seven clubs tak­ing to the field with spe­cially de­signed guernseys. For the first time in its six-year his­tory, the in­dige­nous round will pay trib­ute to the um­pires with a slick de­sign by lo­cal artist Craig Pick­ett.

Play­ers will hit the field in a range of spe­cially de­signed guernseys this week­end to cel­e­brate the strong ties be­tween footy and Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture in the Mid West at the sixth an­nual GNFL In­dige­nous Round.

The strik­ing out­fits were cre­ated in 2010 by lo­cal in­dige­nous artist Craig Pick­ett with fund­ing from the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs and Geraldton Re­gional Abo­rig­i­nal Med­i­cal Ser­vice.

The In­dige­nous Round cel­e­bra­tions this year will in­clude the um­pires for the first time with a slick new de­sign.

GNFL In­dige­nous Round co­or­di­na­tor Car­rissa Bel­lot­tie said the week­end was a great way to give promi­nence to the many in­dige­nous play­ers in the GNFL.

“It’s about high­light­ing the in­dige­nous boys we have, there’s a high per­cent­age of them play­ing the game right across the board,” she said.

“It re­ally show­cases their tal­ent and en­cour­ages them to be proud of their cul­ture while giv­ing the young kids some­thing to as­pire to.”

The GNFL has proven to be a rich nurs­ery for in­dige­nous leg­ends of the game with Brad Dick, Paddy Rider, Caleb Mour­ish, and Josh Simpson ex­celling at the elite level to name a few.

Clay­ton Dann from Rovers Foot­ball Club said the in­dige­nous play­ers al­ways lifted in the round, spurred on by a good turnout from fam­ily mem­bers.

“This is a great chance for the young in­dige­nous boys to get out there and show­case their tal­ents,” Dann said.

“It’s just a re­ally spe­cial time of year be­cause we get a lot of the fam­i­lies that come out and watch and the boys re­ally want to put on a good show for them.”

Bel­lot­tie said many young in­dige­nous play­ers looked up to their AFL leg­ends.

“If you go to most schools a lot of the boys want to as­pire to be AFL play­ers or high-pro­file sports play­ers,” she said.

Pic­ture: David Sal­vaire

Pic­ture: David Sal­vaire

Jor­dan Ugle, Shaun Mil­lett, Kim Schofield, Nathaniel Mouram­bine, Ashley Gray, Clay­ton Dann, Ike Simpson and Paul Wat­son.

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