NPL Men’s club Sunshine Coast Wanderers will be raising funds to support Indigenous football development this weekend as the Queensland football community gets behind NAIDOC Week.
Wanderers have collaborated with local Indigenous football side Sunshine Coast Goannas to design and develop an Indigenous-inspired kit that will be auctioned off following Saturday night’s season-ending home match against Gold Coast United.
All proceeds will go back to the Goannas to help create scholarship opportunities on the Sunshine Coast for young Indigenous footballers.
The Ballinger Park event will also feature an Indigenous dance group, a Welcome to Country ceremony and a traditional smoking ceremony in recognition and celebration of the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Max De Luca, who is involved with the senior men’s squad at Wanderers, worked with Goannas founder Wayne Alberts and Queensland Indigenous Football’s Damian Munday to bring the plans to fruition, and is looking forward to the fundraising efforts making a positive impact.
“We’re going to be working really hard with the Goannas to try to guide Indigenous youth into the NPL or FQPL,” De Luca said.
“Wayne will be able to step in and help guide these kids. You would love to see something come of it. It would be great to see the next Kyah Simon or Adam Sarota.
“It’s easy for myself to say that because my two boys, being Aboriginal with their mum, they’ve had a taste of NPL and SAP and they’ve also played in those Indigenous tournaments.
“Flynn at the age of 15, 16 played with the likes of Tahj Minniecon and Adam Sarota. It’s such a great chance. And obviously James Brown plays for Gold Coast United. It’s fantastic that he’ll be playing [on Saturday].
“It’s great timing, perfect to be honest.”
Wanderers won’t be the only NPL Queensland team sporting special kits this weekend. Their opponents, Gold Coast United, have added the NAIDOC Week logo to their shirt sleeve. Olympic FC, meanwhile, have unveiled a striking full Indigenous design, as has become an annual tradition for the club.
Peninsula Power, the new NPL Men’s Premiers, have also created eye-catching custom-made kits and polo shirts that will be seen at Saturday night’s game against Lions FC at AJ Kelly Park.
All games will be broadcast live on NPL.TV, free for Australian residents.
To find out more about the Indigenous footballers starring in the NPL, and the role of the Queensland Indigenous Football (QIF), read up on our recent piece with QIF’s Damian Munday.