THE Bathurst Netball Association are throwing their support behind National Reconciliation Week (May 27 to June 3) by asking all competitors this weekend to sport the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags in their uniform and ribbons.
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The Bathurst association has been a strong supporter of the Indigenous community in recent years with events across both National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
Founder of Bathurst Young Mob, Shona Kennedy, said it's fantastic to see the Indigenous representation growing in the game of netball both locally and in the region.
"Jamee Stair founded the Bathurst Young Mob netball teams. She's created an environment where we can have two netball teams each year. Jamee and Charli Riley do a great job at getting those teams together, organising sponsorship and training them," she said.
"Our club has felt really accepted. The young Koori kids that we've had take up netball have been really good at it, but there hasn't been a big uptake.
"We want to create that uptake because we've found that in Bathurst netball there is a willingness to accept and engage and learn about Aboriginal people.
"I don't think it's a one-sided thing either. I think reconciliation is very much alive and well in Bathurst netball. There's a drive to create strong community partnerships. That's something in its early stages but we look forward to continuing to work together."
Kennedy said the events the BNA have hosted in the past have been a hit with the netball community.
"We were part of the NAIDOC week celebrations last year where we had dampers and scones. My mum's an artist who does Aboriginal-flavoured paintings ... and we had an artwork of hers that we raffled off last year," she said.
"We're doing that again this weekend. What we're looking to do is make it a free raffle while creating awareness of how many Aboriginal people do play netball in Bathurst.
"What you had to do on the ticket was to name one Aboriginal netball player that you knew. As we went through the day we saw people thinking about who was Aboriginal on their team, and that there were probably many more than we originally thought."
The Bathurst Netball Association will also look to provide more learning opportunities and festivities during NAIDOC Week, which runs from July 3 to 10.
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