This NAIDOC Week, Netball Australia will be holding their inaugural Indigenous High Performance Camp (IHPC), at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Canberra.
From the 7-9 July, 21 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes will be mentored by former Aboriginal Diamonds representatives Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM and Sharon Finnan-White OAM, as well as Australian Diamonds Coach, Lisa Alexander.
The IHPC will focus on developing the athletes’ leadership capabilities on and off the court, and would not be possible without the support of Netball Australia’s National Community Inclusion Partner, Australia Post, who has collaborated to deliver One Netball initiatives since 2014.
Alongside court sessions, the athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a painting workshop with Aboriginal artist Sarrita King, and will participate in a community clinic which will be attended by, His Excellency General ,the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor General of Australia.
Sarrita King has previously worked with Netball Australia, painting the artwork that features on the front cover of Netball Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan, created as a reflection of the Australian netball community in King’s eyes.
“The imagery shows the wide geographic environment people come from to become members of the Australian netball community,” King said.
“The connection begins from afar but, as the travelling lines show, small groups travel together to eventually merge with many others to become one group.
“This coming together forms a bond between all members, remaining strong even when everyone returns to their original location. It is these relationships and bonds that continue to support every member of Netball Australia.”
The artwork features on the uniforms the athletes will be wearing during the Camp, and King was incredibly excited when shown the final product.
“Wow! How good does that look!” Said King.
“Netball Australia has done a beautiful job bringing the artwork Gather as One onto these uniforms. I hope all the girls attending the camp are as proud to wear the uniform as I am to be a part of their netball journey.
“Netball has been a large source of happiness and friendship in my own life so staying connected through this project had been a joy.”
King will be running a workshop with the athletes while they’re in Camp, painting their own canvases and connecting with their own culture and stories.
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities but by Australians from all walks of life.
Athletes attending the camp are: