Brisbane Roar defender Jade North today helped launch the inaugural Indigenous Football Week (29 March – 3 April) which includes a new fund-raising initiative.
The initiative aims to raise more than $200,000 for John Moriarty Football, a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve education and life outcomes for young Indigenous footballers and their families in remote Australia, at the same time ensuring Indigenous football succeeds in Australia.
North, who is from the Biripi people in the Taree-Manning River region of mid north NSW, has been a proud and hands-on supporter of taking football to indigenous communities and has served as an indigenous ambassador for Football Federation Australia.
He was delighted to be at today's launch.
"This is a great concept and a massive step forward for indigenous kids to get recognition and develop their football skills," North said
As part of Indigenous Football Week, the Roar players will wear a specially designed warm-up kit for their Hyundai A-League match against Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday (5pm KO).
Roar players Shane Stefanutto, Tommy Oar, Henrique and Devante Clut also showed their support by posing for photos while kicking a ball barefoot after training this morning.
The significance of kicking around barefoot is that this is how John Moriarty, the first Aboriginal called up for the Socceroos, played his junior football.
Supporters can visit the John Moriarty Football website (jmf.org.au) to donate, and can encourage family and friends to do the same by uploading and sharing a photo or video of their feet, barefoot, with a ball, or juggling or playing, to Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #BarefootJMF and #GameChanger. SMS donations can be made by texting GOAL to 0455 021 021.
To learn more, watch the video at jmf.org.au
Proudly supported by Football Federation Australia, Professional Footballers Australia, SBS and FOX Sports, Indigenous Football Week will highlight the achievements of Indigenous players past and present, as well as the next generation of incredible talent.
And in an Australian football first, a group of young Indigenous footballers from remote parts of the Northern Territory will walk out with the Caltex Socceroos at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Allianz Stadium in Sydney tonight to mark the launch of Indigenous Football Week.
David Gallop, Chief Executive of Football Federation Australia, said Indigenous football was a powerful agent of change and an emerging source of exceptional Australian football talent.
“We’ve seen the rise of many inspirational Indigenous players who have brought formidable craftsmanship and skill to the game over the years, including Harry Williams, Travis Dodd, John Moriarty, the first Indigenous player selected to represent Australia, and current players such as Jade North, James Brown, Lydia Williams, Kyah Simon, and Adam Sarota, to name a few,” Gallop said.http://jmf.org.au/
“Football Federation Australia is proud to support an initiative which celebrates Indigenous footballers’ contribution to the game, and which, through John Moriarty Football, nurtures the next generation of breakthrough Indigenous talent.”
John Moriarty, founder of John Moriarty Football, said that the funds raised during Indigenous Football Week will go far in furthering programs that create life-changing opportunities for young Indigenous players, opening pathways for them to make their mark on Australian football.
“Our organisation works in two remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, employing and developing local coaches to support Indigenous families and the wider community. We deliver more than 800 training sessions and games per year within a program that includes nutrition, mentoring and well-being for 300 kids aged 2 to 16.
“Indigenous Football Week will help us expand our reach to support and nurture more young Indigenous athletes with the talent and potential to succeed through sport; whether at grassroots or the highest national and international levels of the game.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle will have the services of their captain Nigel Boogaard after the independent Match Review Panel today unanimously ruled in favour of an Obvious Error (Red Card) Application submitted by the Jets.
In accordance with the A-League Disciplinary Regulations, the red card will be expunged from Boogaard’s record and he will be available to play in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League against the Roar.
To secure your seats for the Roar's critical Hyundai A-League Round 26 home match at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday (5pm KO), click here