The National Diversity Championships has a strong Djarrak feel to it with four coaches and three players spread across the NT Kickstart Indigenous Team and NT All Nations Team respectively. Playing members are BJ Mununggurr, Gundjarra 'Wamut' Mununggurr, Russell Munyaryun and a fourth East Arnhem player in Jamie Baxter from Nhulunbuy. Coaching staff includes Hayden Rickard, Steven Raymond and 2017 Gove AFL premiership players Matt Campbell and Cameron Stokes.
With the AFL putting a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion, the Championships are an important calendar event for boys aged Under 15 and later in the year the girls Championship. All States and Territories are represented with representative teams the 'Boomerangs'and World Team' the prize for those boys that best display their talent during the 5 day event. The Championships are being hosted in Blacktown, NSW.
Djarrak FC Senior Coach Hayden Rickard was elated when asked for his perspective on the impact that a remote football club can provide to a representative set-up. He said "Obviously thrilled that the 3 boys have had an opportunity this week in front of AFL Industry Talent Scouts. There is an element of pressure at this early level and the boys have contributed wonderfully to the NT team over the past few days and will look to have a big finals campaign starting tomorrow morning.
He added "In terms of the opportunity that AFLNT have given our coaching staff, I'm just happy that our Rirratjingu Football Program has been recognised for the development work that has gone into our Junior groups. Scully (Raymond) can be particularly pleased with his effort in training not only these boys, but a number of talented Yirrkala boys following on from the Michael Long Championships held last year. His development coaching has been National standard".
In further news, Round 1 Gove AFL action starts this Friday night and Rickard will return to be on deck at Yirrkala with action under lights to start the competition. The Brown and Gold Army are advised that support will be hugely encouraging as always from 6pm.