Indigenous Role Models: AFL's Junior Ambassadors for Sir Doug Nicholls Round
The Australian Football League (AFL) celebrates Sir Doug Nicholls Round every year in May to honour the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to the sport. Community clubs in Queensland and Northern New South Wales will mark the occasion with their own celebrations and education sessions. For the first time, the AFL Queensland's McDonalds South East Junior competition will join in with more than 15,000 kids from Gympie to Ballina participating in the celebrations. This is in addition to all AFLQ senior competitions including AFL Townsville, AFL Mackay, AFL Capricornia, AFL Wide Bay, AFL Darling Downs, and all QFA competitions, QAFL and Bond University QAFLW.
The SEQ Junior Indigenous Ambassadors for Sir Doug Nicholls Round this year are Ally Anderson and Keidean Coleman from the Brisbane Lions and Jed Anderson and Kalinda Howarth from the Gold Coast SUNS, as announced by AFLQ. This is another first for the year and a great opportunity for these players to act as role models to junior players.
Anderson, a proud Gangulu/Wakka Wakka woman, expressed her honour in being an ambassador and role model for junior players.
“I feel very proud to be able to be an ambassador and role model to our junior players and to be able to represent my family and other Indigenous footy players during this round,” she said.
Coleman, who was born in the Northern Territory and raised in a small Aboriginal community called Barunga, is excited to celebrate the sport of AFL and recognise Sir Doug Nicholls and other great AFL Indigenous role models.
“It’s special that every Indigenous person in Australia gets to celebrate the beautiful game of AFL and importantly recognise Sir Doug Nichols and the many other great AFL Indigenous role models and their huge contributions to this sport while getting to share our culture across the whole of Australia,” he said.
Sir Doug Nicholls played 54 games for Fitzroy and was a brilliant all-round athlete. He was the first Aboriginal person to be knighted, served as Governor of South Australia, and was devoted to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. He epitomised the spirit of reconciliation.
Kalinda Howarth from the Yuin Nation said being named as an ambassador for the round was a huge privilege.
“Growing up as an Aboriginal female in footy, there wasn’t any other Aboriginal female AFL players to aspire to be like. I hope in becoming the junior SDNR ambassador, I can inspire even for just one junior to continue their journey through football,” she said.
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Courtesy AFL Queensland