Indigenous round honours the umpires
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.
Jordan Ugle, Shaun Millett, Kim Schofield, Nathaniel Mourambine, Ashley Gray, Clayton Dann, Ike Simpson and Paul Watson.