The Nunga U17 Next Generation Football Carnival has seen Koonibba and Port Augusta win the boys’ and girls’ grand finals respectively to culminate a successful return to the carnival after a two year absence due to COVID-19.
The Roosters ran through the boys’ competition undefeated, claiming victory over the All Stars – a squad consisting of players from Nations and communities not represented by other teams – in the grand final on Sunday night.
The Magpies and All Star girls teams were the only sides in the female competition. Port Augusta claimed all three wins.
Monica Turner-Collins and Byron Pickett Jnr were named best players in the grand finals.
The Tjindu Foundation worked to return the carnival in 2022 with support from the AFL [and SANFL?] to facilitate the transport and accommodation from teams around South Australia.
They included Koonibba, Port Augusta, Mallee Park, Narungga, Raukkan, Oodnadatta, APY Lands/Far West Coast, Riverland United and the All Star/Nations sides.
Tjindu Foundation general manager Kellie Graves thanked communities for their participation in the event.
“It was great to have Mob from far and wide come to support their communities represented by talented young kids this weekend,” Graves said.
“It’s been a tough few years for every one with COVID-19 preventing our communities from getting together at these events, and we’re proud to have helped bring the Nunga Under-17 Next Generation Football Carnival back this year.
“It was fantastic to see thousands attend Thebarton Oval over the weekend and watch a great show and support their kids doing their families and communities proud.
“On behalf of everyone at Tjindu, we thank all of the teams, coaches, players and volunteers who helped make the carnival happen, especially those who travelled hundreds of kilometres to be here.”
Tjindu Foundation co-founder Paul Vandenbergh also extended thanks to supporters of the event, which is the final Nunga sports carnival to be held following the senior football event recently held at the Kilburn Football Club, and junior and senior netball events.
“Sport has always been an important event for our people to connect over and seeing the colours of communities out in force at Thebarton this weekend was great to see,” said Vandenbergh.
“Congratulations to all the players who participated and to the teams from Koonibba Mission and Port Augusta for winning the boys’ and girls’ grand finals.
“The Tjindu Foundation has been proud to bring this event back and to work with communities to get as many players from across the state to this event. We acknowledge the support of the AFL, [SANFL?], RAA, Bunnings and Foodbank for their support in staging the event this weekend.”