The Charlestown Netball Association can’t wait “to do it all again” following the success of the Koori Tournament at the weekend.
More than 1,000 Aboriginal and non-Indigenous players from across the state converged on Lake Macquarie for the annual two-day event, with 90 teams contesting six divisions, including women’s and mixed for both adults and juniors.
In the feature grade, open women’s A, La Peruse defeated Newcastle’s #4 Voguey in the final.
However, it was local girl Sarah Graham named as the standout player.
In open women’s B, Kookaburras 1 accounted for the Awabakal Sisters and, in mixed, #4 Voguey Purple proved too strong for Awabakal Sisters & Brothers.
Googar Guns prevailed from Wagga Wagga in the 13-15 years’ mixed division, while Anaiwan Matriachs 15s spoiled #4 Voguey Girls 15s’ party in the girls’ section.
The 10-12 years’ mixed title went to Tidda Girls, who beat La Peruse in the decider.
“From the opening ceremony with the magical little Midnight Dreaming dancers to the last whistle on the Sunday, the weekend was full of wonderful netball, competitive netball, social netball and communities coming together as one,” Charlestown Netball Association president Di Pascoe said.
“Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, catching up with friends, relatives and other mobs just like a corroboree.
“The uniforms were colourful, the faces were smiling and the games played in good spirit.
“The whole weekend was just wonderful… we can’t wait to welcome everyone back in 2024.”
The prestigious event garnered the support of the NSW Office of Sport and Netball NSW.
“The Koori Tournament featured high-quality netball,” Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said.
“I congratulate La Perouse on winning this year’s competition as well as Sarah Graham on being named Player of the Tournament.
“The Koori Netball Tournament has been enhancing reconciliation through sport for more than 20 years.
“So, it was fantastic to provide the opportunity for Aboriginal netballers to again showcase their talent in a competitive and inclusive environment.”
Netball NSW executive general manager – communities and pathway Tim Fava agreed.
“It was a weekend of vibrant colours, talent and an awe-inspiring sense of community across all courts at the Koori Tournament, which was brilliantly hosted by Charlestown Netball Association,” he said.
“This year’s event once again showcased netball’s power to connect people of all backgrounds on court.
“Also, it highlighted the dedication and passion of the community that makes it a staple of the NSW sporting landscape.
“I would like to thank all participants for the energy they brought, as well as Charlestown Netball Association and the NSW Government for their support of this event.”
2023 Koori Netball Tournament
- Open Women’s A: winner La Perouse; runner-up #4 Voguey; Player of the Tournament Sarah Graham (#4 Voguey)
- Open Women’s B: winner Kookaburras 1; runner-up Awabakal Sisters; Player of the Tournament Alearah Donovan (Kookaburras 1)
- Opens mixed: winner #4 Voguey Purple; runner-up Awabakal Sisters & Brothers; Player of the Tournament Logan Aoake (#4 Voguey Purple)
- 13-15 years mixed: winner Googar Guns; runner-up Wagga Wagga; Player of the Tournament Kaleel Goolagong (Wagga Wagga)
- 13-15 years girls: winner Anaiwan Matriachs 15s; runner-up #4 Voguey Girls 15s; Player of the Tournament Maddison Ridgeway (Anaiwan Matriachs 15s)
- 10-12 years mixed: winner Tidda Girls; runner-up La Perouse; Player of the Tournament Halle McGuire (Tidda Girls)
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