Thursday, April 25, 2024

Sunshine Coast to host indigenous football festival

The Australian Indigenousroos and the Australian Indigenous Koalas will play exhibition football matches against the Sunshine Coast Allstars rep teams next year as part of a new four-day football festival, Sunshine Coast Council has announced today.

Mayor Mark Jamieson says the Sunshine Coast Indigenous Football Festival will be held at Maroochydore Football Club at Kuluin from March 2 to 6.

“With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and now the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 firmly placed on the Calendar, the Sunshine Coast is keen to host major events such as the Sunshine Coast Festival of Indigenous Football,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Sunshine Coast Council looks forward to the delivery of a first-class event, and congratulates partners Maroochydore Football Club, Queensland Indigenous Football, Football Queensland and Naree Event Management for providing such a great opportunity to showcase such an important major event for the region.”

Indigenous Football Ambassador and Patron, Craig Foster said it was wonderful to see the Matildas promote the Aboriginal flag at the recent Olympics in the Spirit of Reconciliation.

“Our fellow Indigenous people need to be front and centre of everything we do,” Mr Foster said.

High-profile former Socceroos, Frank Farina and Travis Dodd, will once again spearhead the Indigenousroos and Koalas national teams, taking on head coaching roles, respectively.

“While preparation is always short, I know that the boys will come together and put on a great show for the people of the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Farina said.  

Mr Dodd said it was always something special to see our Indigenous women represent at the elite level and given the opportunity to represent their country and their community.

Football Queensland CEO, Robert Cavallucci said the organisation was delighted to support the March event.

“It will be a fantastic showcase of Indigenous and local Sunshine Coast football talent,” Mr Cavallucci said.

“Football is the game of choice for all, for life, and events like this one provide valuable opportunities to unite our game through a celebration of culture and community.”

The Festival is partly funded by the Train Sunshine Coast project, which received $1.3 million from the Australian and Queensland Governments through the jointly Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements’ Local Economic Recovery Program, established following the 2019 bushfires.

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