Wagga City hold inaugural indigenous round in Southern Inland Rugby Union

TOP EVENT: Drew Martin runs out for Wagga City in their special jumper as part of the club's inaugural indigenous round against Waratahs.
TOP EVENT: Drew Martin runs out for Wagga City in their special jumper as part of the club's inaugural indigenous round against Waratahs.

A COUPLE of losses to Waratahs did not dampen the spirits of Wagga City in the most recent round of Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU), given the success of the club’s inaugural indigenous round.

City players and supporters shared a story of reconciliation, respect and cultural harmony for Wiradjuri people, on and off the field at Conolly Park.

The first grade and women’s sevens team wore special jumpers, shorts and socks that featured Aboriginal art, designed by local artist David O’Neill.

The day also featured an acknowledgement of country, and traditional dance by Georgina O’Neill, her daughter Tara Button-Wright and grandchildren. Players were led out by Dane Simpson playing the didgeridoo. 

Event organiser, women’s team coach and LiveBetter team leader Ryan Cummings said the game meant so much more than just another 80 minutes on the field for players and supporters. 

“Last Saturday was an important opportunity to recognise Indigenous culture and to more forward towards reconciliation and closing the gap,” Cummings said.

“This round was important for our women’s side given six of the 15-member squad are indigenous.

“From the club’s perspective there were many people there and it was a good day. It was a great event and initiative for the community…we hope to make it an annual event for Wagga City.”

The club also used the occasion to raise $2000 for Ronald McDonald House through donations and the purchase and auction of players’ jumpers.