The Big River Hawks were formed in 2010 in order to allow the young men of the Katherine region and surrounding communities an opportunity to play in the Darwin based NTFL. A girls team joined the NTFL for season 2016/17. And a Women's Premier League season started season 2019/20 but later withdrew due to injury and lack of available players.
The team draws on players from an area equivalent to that of the size of the state of Victoria. From communities of the Northern desert region such as Lajamanu in the West, and to the East, communities on the Gulf of Carpentaria such as Numbulwar and Ngukkur.
The team plays in the Under 18 competitions and wear the colours and emblem of the Hawthorn Football Club, one of its major sponsors and a long time supporter of AFL in the Katherine region.
In its inaugural year of 2010, the team made the finals despite the vast distances of not only reaching a game but also between teammates. This makes training as a team difficult and when you add in the fact that the football season is aligned with the wet season and several communities are cut off for weeks and sometimes months at a time, forming a club and team is certainly a challenge.
Not only did the team overcome these obstacles, but they were able to form a genuine bond that overcame not only distance but historical differences between communities and cultures.
It is for these reasons that the Big River Hawks is an important sporting team. It allows young men and women from all over the area and from all walks of life to pursue their sporting careers playing at the highest level available in the Northern Territory, whilst remaining in their communities as role models, and encouraging the next generation of young men and women to aspire to be Big River Hawks themselves.
All players must be either attending school, in work or training to be eligible to be selected each week. The club is determined that the young men and women that wear its colours leave the team as 18-year-olds that will continue to be strong members of their community.
The team is supported by a diverse group of volunteers from the local community and is always looking for more helping hands whatever the skills, time or financial contribution you might be able to make.