THE Bega Bombers have been recognised and rewarded for their appreciation of the club’s Indigenous players and community.
On May 30, the Bombers hosted Pambula in the Sapphire Coast AFL’s Indigenous Round, wearing specially designed jerseys to recognise Indigenous players and fans.
As part of the celebrations, Bega Elder Faith Aldridge gave a Welcome to Country and Eden pastor Ossie Cruse performed for the crowd on a gum leaf.
Those celebrations have been recognised by AFL NSW/ACT as one of two winners in its Indigenous Round community competition.
For a prize, the Bega club will soon be presented with a signed Sydney Swans jersey.
The award was announced via the AFL NSW/ACT website late Thursday.
Club president Justin Welsford said the recognition was “exciting news for a small club”.
“We didn’t do it for the recognition, but this is great news,” he said.
Welsford said for the 2013 season’s Indigenous Round, the Bombers played an away game to Eden, naming Indigenous players as captains for the day among other initiatives.
“This year we wanted to take it a bit further and get some special jumpers for the day.
“Sturg [Michael Sturgess] was a big driving force behind the idea.
“Along with all the other charity stuff we are doing this year, this was a good way for us to recognise our Indigenous players and give some awareness to all those who came before and the players who made it in the AFL.”
As for the game itself, the Bombers lost 7.6 (48) to Pambula’s 18.8 (116).
Despite the loss, Bombers stalwart Sturgess said it was “one of the most satisfying games I’ve been involved with”.
“As soon as the boys put on those jerseys they stepped up.
“There wasn’t one player in the side that didn’t give us 110 per cent.
“We went out there knowing we were playing the best side in the competition.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t win, but we knew what we had done and everyone walked off smiling.”