Indigenous & Multicultural Showcase In Townsville
Wednesday, March 30 2016 @ 09:52 am ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The 2016 National Diversity Championships get under way at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville next Sunday 3rd April. The tournament will again feature both the U15 Kickstart and the U15 All Nations Cup. Each year the event attracts the best indigenous and multicultural talent from across Australia, with all players vying to impress on their journey towards AFL stardom.
Past players that have come through this important component of the AFL talent pathway over the years include current players Steve May (Gold Coast Suns), Curtly Hampton (Adelaide), Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast), Jade Gresham (St Kilda), Jay Kennedy-Harris (Melbourne), Karl Amon (Port Adelaide), Jarman Impey (Port Adelaide), Jake Long (Essendon) and a host of others across the AFL.
AFL Queensland Regional Manager, Kathleen Newman, stated in 2013 when Townsville last hosted the event that “there is every chance spectators will see the next Cyril Rioli, Lewis Jetta, or Chris Yarran, running around.”
The All Nations Cup has also increased in importance in recent years with the calibre of players from multicultural backgrounds reaching greater heights. Mabior Chol (Richmond), Reuben William (Brisbane Lions) and Gach Nyuon (Essendon) are all from Sudan and have reached AFL lists via the All Nations Cup.
The event gets under way on Sunday 3rd April with the opening ceremony at Tony Ireland Stadium. Then the battles commence with matches played from Monday 4th to Friday 8th April, culminating with the finals on Friday morning. The Kickstart and All Nations matches will be played on the main Tony Ireland Stadium and adjacent Riverway Oval.
Western Australia won the Kickstart title in 2015 in Cairns. Queensland took out the All Nations Cup for their inaugural title. The Victoria/Tasmania team was runner up in both and will be itching for a chance to reverse those results in 2016 adding spice to the tournament.
With 300 players arriving in the northern city for the event, Townsville will again be the focus of youth footy for the week. The best players in the Kickstart tournament will be selected in the Flying Boomerangs national indigenous team, whilst the best All Nations players will be selected for the World Team…great honours to achieve on the road to the highest levels of the game.
If you are travelling to Townsville next week it might be worth a drive out to Tony Ireland Stadium to catch some of the action. For more information, follow the contacts on the poster below.