Over the weekend AFL Northern Territory delivered the AFL Cyclone Recovery Football Carnival in Gove in conjunction with the Northern Territory Government, TIO and Rio Tinto Alcan.
Approximately 170 young men from cyclone-ravaged communities in the East Arnhem region took part in two days of football and live entertainment; with each team playing at least seven games across the weekend.
Cyclone Lam and Nathan hit the region earlier this year, leaving devastation behind them.
In conjunction with the Northern Territory Government, AFL Northern Territory has been involved in a number of cyclone relief related activities, including clinics and kick-to-kick’s at the Darwin Showgrounds in the immediate aftermath of the cyclones.
AFL Northern Territory also sent staff to Elcho Island to assist with relief activities, including re-building morale and providing a welcome distraction to residents through engaging activities to help distract from the impacts of the cyclones.
AFL Northern Territory Community Football School Attendance Manager Cassidy Fitzclarence believes carnivals such as this are an essential part of rebuilding community pride and bringing people together.
‘This carnival was an important opportunity for a large number of cyclone affected communities to re-engage with football and to re-energise inter-community competition’, Fitzclarence said.
‘The communities should be commended for their efforts in attending the carnival in such strong numbers, four teams flew in to participate, while two team drove over seven hours in troop carriers to partake.
‘All teams conducted themselves remarkably well both on and off the field, showing great respect for each other, the wider community of Yirrkala and event organisers’, said Fitzclarence.
The eight teams that participated came from Milingimbi, Ramingining, Gapuwiyak, two teams from Galiwin’ku and two combined sides from the Gove Peninsula as well as one from Groote Eylandt.
The standard of football was high across all teams and fixtures, with an exciting finals series which was eventually won by Gapuwiyak over Gove #2 (Port Power).
A special award was created for the carnival to recognise a team that encompassed the spirit of the game include superior sportsmanship, respect for those around them and general conduct on and off the field.
This was awarded to Ramingining who managed to pull together a competitive team at the last minute and drove in.
All teams were awarded for exemplary engagement and participation throughout carnival and their stay at the Rio Tinto Alcan G3 complex with Sherrin footballs.
The Best on Ground award for the Grand Final went to Rowan Gayamanga from Gapuwiyak.
Thanks to Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA), TIO and Rio Tinto.
Also supported by local East Arnhem businesses and organisations:
• East Arnhem Regional Council
• Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation
• Gumatj Meats
• Peninsula Bakery and Café
• Nhulunbuy Corporation
• Yolngu Radio
• Miwatj Health
• Rotary Nhulunbuy
• Katherine Aviation
• Black Diamond Aviation
• Mission Aviation Fellowship
• Laynhapuy Aviation
• Air Frontier
• Datjala Work Camp