Carnival creates stronger pathways for Aboriginal players


Young Aboriginal netballers took to the courts at Priceline Stadium in mid-November for the Nunga Next Generation Carnival.

This year saw the carnival’s largest participation rate, and with the round-robin netball competition, and support from State Premier Netball Competition (SPNC) clubs and Adelaide Thunderbird players, the carnival was a great success.

Carnival organiser, Vanessa Dempsey, said a key focus for this year’s carnival, which saw 26 teams from six clubs compete, was to break down the barriers between Aboriginal girls and mainstream netball pathways.

“We recognise that these girls are a minority group and there are barriers hindering them from entering the mainstream pathways. To overcome these barriers three SPNC clubs attended the carnival in Oakdale, Garville and Contax.

“The clubs had stalls where information on team trials were available and they also spoke with the girls to answer any questions they had about joining a club.

“We also had Bongiwe Msomi, Fiona Themann and Gia Abernethy from the Adelaide Thunderbirds at the carnival. Each player picked a team name out of the hat and that lucky team was then coached by the Adelaide Thunderbirds player for one match.”

The carnival had four age divisions, u/11, u/13, u/15 and u/17, with teams representing clubs from across South Australia.

Kaurna, representing the Adelaide Plains, won the u/11, u/13 and u/17 age groups, with Black Panthers, representing west Adelaide, taking out the u/15 title.

This year marked the 8th time Nunga Netball had held the carnival since its inaugural year in 2011. However, it was the first time it joined forces with Port Adelaide Football Club to create the Nunga Next Generation Carnival, with a football competition for young Aboriginal players taking place on the same day.

“We are proud of the foundation that has been set and will continue to strive to provide more opportunities for our next generation of netball and footballers,” Vanessa said.

“Building partnerships with key stakeholders will ensure sustainability for future generations along with fulfilling our communities’ passion and enjoyment for both netball and football.”