Indigenous players to the AFL? Why not bring the AFL to Indigenous centres and communinties? The case for NT Thunder FC in the AFL.

As I suspected it seems that I’m not the only person who has seen a gap between Indigenous and White Australia.

To some extent this gap has been narrowed by participation in sport but as I have outlined in an earlier installment it has also created an entirely new problem with players being taken away from their communities and placed in a team on the other side of the country.

The NT Thunder Football Club initiative is similar in ethos and purpose to the AFL club that I proposed :)

Yes, individuals need to be responsible for their actions. It is not just Indigenous people who are prone to stupid behaviour, it is all players.

That was not the focus but the support that Indigenous players have once moved to the big city most pertinently for the most part a lack of family support for boys who typically come from a culture and community where family is the most important thing and could be seen to play a bigger part in their life than what is the norm for families in the city. I’m not an expert but from where I’m sitting this seems to be a key reason why there is a problem regarding Indigenous players in the AFL.

In regards to the team I think that Northern Territory Thunder is an excellent model and although it seems to be a team with an Indigenous focus it compromises roughly 60% Indigenous players but has many non-Indigenous players in the team as well. It is a very successful club and seems to work quite well.

I think also for young non-Indigenous players playing in an Indigenous focused team would be a very enriching experience and an adventure. As a young non-Indigenous person I’ve spent some time in an Indigenous community and it was a great and rewarding experience that I was able to learn a lot from. Relationships that could be formed on both parts in such an environment would be mulch-beneficial.

As a country we have made great steps towards equality for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians but there is still plenty more to be done if we are to ‘Close the Gap’. Sport and specifically the AFL have made great progress in this regard with the Long Walk initiative and Indigenous Round as well as a plethora of programs such as; QANTAS AFL Kickstart, Flying Boomerangs, Indigenous Academies, AFL Ambassadors for Life Mentoring Program, AFL Club Community Fostership Program. Despite this there is still a way to go.

I think one real problem has been raised that no amount of money would be able to solve. For a long time the AFL has taken young men away from their communities where many of them have been leaders. Leaving a void in some respects, and creating a very difficult situation for many of these men. Why not bring the AFL to these communities?

About Will Brussen

Will Brussen is a Tiger, he loves the Richmond Tigers and he has suffered. He finds solace in the fact that he did not choose the Tigers, they chose him. He finds comfort in watching replays of the 1980 grand final, on repeat. He finds joy in singing the club song, whenever he wants. He believes that supporting the Richmond Football Club has taught him many life lessons.

Comments

  1. Peter Schumacher says:

    “I think one real problem has been raised that no amount of money would be able to solve. For a long time the AFL has taken young men away from their communities where many of them have been leaders. Leaving a void in some respects, and creating a very difficult situation for many of these men. Why not bring the AFL to these communities?”

    Yes, a really good point!

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