Two teams from Moree will head to Raymond Terrace next week to battle it out in the PCYC NSW Nations of Origin tournament for the fifth year running.
The Moree players will be representing the Kamilaroi United nation, one of 25 NSW Aboriginal nations competing in the annual Aboriginal youth sporting event, held from Tuesday, July 11 to Thursday, July 13.
A boys and girls Kamilaroi United team will compete in the under 16s rugby league 7s tournament, made up of a majority of Moree players as well as two girls from Gunnedah and a boy from Boggabilla.
The Nations of Origin tournament is an initiative of PCYC and held during NAIDOC Week each year to promote reconciliation, education, cultural identity and sport.
Each team includes indigenous and non-indigenous players and at least 70 per cent of the team must be Aboriginal. Cultural identity is a focal point of the project with all teams representing their community under the traditional local Aboriginal nation name from their area, with uniforms adorned with totems of their nation.
Players must also have an 80 per cent school attendance rate to be eligible to participate in the tournament.
Based on previous years, we should go pretty well.
Moree PCYC has participated in the tournament since it began five years ago.
Kamilaroi United team coordinator and PCYC Moree acting manager Tayla Macey said Moree usually does well each year and expects good results again.
“Based on previous years, we should go pretty well,” she said. “The year before last we came third out of the whole tournament.”
The 24 Kamilaroi United players were selected in March this year and have since had a few training sessions leading up to next week’s tournament.
Adam Annis-Brown and Hendrick van Dughten are coaching the boys team, while the girls’ coaches are Kimmalee McInnes and Shirley Swan.
The Kamilaroi United squad will head to Raymond Terrace on Tuesday, July 11 and will play about three or four games on Wednesday and another couple on Thursday before the finals that afternoon.
More than 1,000 young rugby league, football and netball players from around the state will compete in the tournament.