AFLNT in conjunction with Total Recreation, the AFL, National Australia Bank, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Deaf Children Australia, YBE and Xavier College (Tiwi) is proud to be sending a near-full team to the National Inclusion Carnival which begins in Tasmania on Monday.
After more than two months of training together and competing in the local AFL 9s competition, 14 young male Territorians with an intellectual disability were presented with their playing guernseys by senior NT Thunder NEAFL players this evening.
This year’s team is made up of players from beyond Darwin, with Lenny Maymuru the NT’s first deaf player, making the trip from Yirrakala and Peter Apuatimi flying in from the Tiwi Islands.
Peter Apuatimi (Tiwi island)
Lenny Maymuru (Yirrkala)
Daynah Hopkins (VIC top up player)
Rhys Graves (QLD top up player)
And special thanks to the volunteers who have been with the team on the journey and will be on hand to assist in the week-long event:
Team Manager - Jason Bremner
Sports Trainer - Coen Mckinnon
Support Staff - Cameron Maymuru
Coach - Nick Eades
It is only the second time since the carnival first started in 2014 that the NT has fielded a team, and it is an increase on the six NT players that participated in 2017.
The players will depart Darwin on Sunday, and the Carnival will begin on Monday 18 June with a welcoming function and on Tuesday, a lightning round, which will lead to a ranking system for the eight representative teams to form two divisions for the remainder of the games.
In addition to playing footy, players will also undertake important education and health sessions and will enjoy various outings and community visits.
The carnival not only gives some of Australia’s most talented footballers aged 16 and older the chance to represent their state/territory but is also an opportunity to showcase the significant abilities of footballers with an Intellectual disability to the broader community.
NT coach and AFLNT Game Development Coordinator responsible for the inclusion program, Nick Eades said there was much excitement about the impending trip.
“It’s been great to see all the players who participated last year return for a second year in a row. That really speaks volumes of the program and it’s worth to the players, who are all raring to go.
“The boys have trained hard twice a week over the last few months and with the addition of competing in the AFL 9’s competition that has really helped the development of their skills, teamwork and game sense.
“We’re really looking forward to going down to Tasmania to represent the Territory brand of football by playing hard and fast footy. This carnival will be a great eye-opening experience for our players as none of them have been to Tasmania before.
I would like to thank Jason Bremner from Total Recreation, Coen Mckinnon our sports trainer for volunteering his time to training and the corporate supporters AFL, NAB, DSR, Deaf Children Australia, YBE and Xavier College (Tiwi) for supporting all our players and making this trip possible,” Eades said.
The 2018 National Inclusion Carnival fixture and the results throughout the week can be found here.