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Following a successful semester of school attendance and classroom engagement, four boys from the Yirrkala Clontarf Academy were selected to represent the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club U/14s as part of the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Football Program.

The successful trip stemmed from ongoing conversations between Clontarf Staff and Rirratjingu heirarchy about the positive impact that football plays in the lives of young men and women in Yirrkala. The experience provided the boys with the opportunity of exposure to a structured competition, appropriate training methods & nutritional advice to prepare and recover for games.

We were hosted at ABC studios by ‘NO MORE’ campaign founder and Territory Football identity Charlie King. Charlie provided the lads with a tour of facilities as well as recording a series of mock interviews in the same manner he does so with star NTFL players of a weekend. Charlie will again visit Yirrkala early in 2017 to develop a Domestic Violence Action Plan (DVAP) with the Yirrkala & Nhulunbuy Clontarf Academies. The Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation are committed to incorporating the football program as a key vehicle in delivering these concepts.

Newly appointed NT Thunder Coach Andrew Hodges conducted a game education session on the big screen and provided the boys with an insight into the Northern Territory Thunder State Academy Program.

The match was played on TIO Oval 2 against a slick Wanderers outfit. BJ Mununggurr was again consistent across the four quarters and was named amongst the best players. His application to Djarrak training played a key role, particularly late in the game. Gundjarra Mununggurr played a key role in curbing the influence of Wanderers star forward as well as winng a swag of possessions and was a real talking point of Buffaloes supporters. Birayngu Marawili was lively up forward with his tackling pressure a key feature while Baltjawuma Maymaru proved a valuable asset playing mainly across half forward.

The investment in social programs from the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation is certainly a winning formula and these opportunities will play a key role moving forward in consistent school attendance and community behaviour. Rirratjingu Football Program senior mentors Justin Talal and Lenny Maymuru attended the weekend with the boys.

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