Raising his guernsey and standing strong in his culture, 20 years ago Nicky Winmar gave us an unforgettable symbol of determination and pride.
Today the AFL Indigenous Round is a celebration of our country's indigenous culture and players that have shaped Australia's Game. A game that unites us all, players and fans, standing strong and proud for the past, present and future generations.
The Southern Football League is embracing this initiative and supporting the indigenous players within our competition and our local indigenous community.
Indigenous Round gives players the chance to express their Aboriginal identity and showcase it in both their playing lives and culture. According to figures from the AFL, indigenous players make up about 9 per cent of players after the national and rookie drafts.
Barama Blow, an indigenous player from Bentleigh Football Club, says he looks up to all the indigenous players in the AFL, but has a particular soft spot for Buddy Franklin, Eddie Betts and former player Andrew Lovett.
Matthew Wilson, also playing at Bentleigh, spends most of his time developing his game in the U19s competition, but like Barama, has aspirations to play senior footy. Matt looks up to all indigenous players, but his idol is gun Hawthorn small forward Cyril Rioli.
Robert Neil Cooper from Endeavour Hills Football Club says his role model is former Essendon star Michael Long. Cooper states that since Michael Long spoke out about the indigenous community in 2004, the football community has had a better understanding of the history and culture of aboriginal people.
“Ever since he spoke out for us, the football community in particular have become more understanding.”
Raising awareness at a grassroots level allows the whole community to learn more about and show recognition of indigenous culture.
Join in the celebration, as we stand strong and proud, together as one, at the SFL Indigenous Round, May 25.
An SFL photo gallery celebrating Indigenous Round can be viewed here: http://sfnl.com.au/gallery/indigenous-round-round-7-2013/
The AFL's video for Indigenous Round can be viewed here: http://www.afl.com.au/indigenousround?utm_source=AFL+and+club+newsletters&utm_campaign=1f2c266495-Indigenous-Round&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e898e293e4-1f2c266495-209682065
Southern Football League
P: 9553 5644