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Indigenous students take out Team Spirit award

Friday, 18 September 2009


A group of Indigenous ECU students received the Team Spirit Award at the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) held in Canberra recently.

The aim of these Games is to promote friendship and networking opportunities for Indigenous students across Australia, to participate in sport and promote a healthy lifestyle.

It now hosts more than 200 participants representing universities from around Australia. This year, the games were hosted by the University of Canberra, and organised by the Ngunnawal Indigenous Higher Education Centre.

Universities could send a team of no more than 14 students to contest in the games. All sports played were mixed teams and they were; Netball, Volleyball, Basketball, Touch Football and an Indigenous game.

The Edith Cowan University team fundraised enough to send a team of nine students, comprising 5 males and 4 females and one staff member also attended as team manager.

The team comprised of Glenn Moore, Leon Henry, Ashley Anderson, Kelvin Anderson, Douglas Ngaro-Kyle and Bianca Phillips, Shaydeen Thompson, Keryne Ronan, Mahala Woods and Kurongkurl Katitjin’s Indigenous Student Support Officer Alisha Roberts.

Prior to leaving, discussions with the Director of the Ngunnawal Centre, Dr. Kaye Price and Games Committee member Tarryn Backhus, resulted in Edith Cowan University combining with four students from the University of Canberra to increase their team numbers and allow them to operate with substitutes.

A big thank you goes to the University of Canberra students Gary Pappin, Krystal Hirst, Jordan Young and Jorge Kapeen.

This year’s overall winners were the Western Waagyls from the University of Western Australia. However students from Edith Cowan University did not go home empty handed.

Team member Shaydeen Thompson, enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science with the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences won the female Most Valuable Player award plus the All Star Team award.

Team Member Bianca Phillips enrolled in the Indigenous University Orientation Course (IUOC) with Kurongkurl Katitjin, was approached to play with the National Indigenous Womens Rugby League Team and both Shaydeen Thompson and Douglas Ngaro-Kyle (also an IUOC student) participated in the Australian Sports Commission’s National Talent Identification and Development (NTID) program.

Both Shaydeen and Douglas received excellent results and Douglas received well above average results in the Vertical Jump and 20m Shuttle Run.

While sporting achievement was part of the games focus, so too was participation and sportsmanship. So it was with great honour that the Edith Cowan University team were nominated and received the Team Spirit Award.

The students who participated in this event have grown personally, gaining confidence and many new friends through the experience. The team are now looking forward to the 15th National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games, 2010, to be held at the University of Newcastle.


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