Port Stephens Council has welcomed the return of a highlight on the annual events calendar, PCYC Nations of Origin, after it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
More than 1300 young people from across NSW will represent their Aboriginal Nation in the Nations of Origin tournament from 29 June to 2 July in Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie.
Participants will compete over 4 days in rugby league, netball, football fives, basketball and for the first time, gymnastics.
Mayor Ryan Palmer says he’s excited to welcome back Nations of Origin to Port Stephens.
“It’s fantastic to see Nations of Origin back in 2021, bigger and better than ever,” Mayor Palmer said.
“This is a unique event which brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people from across our state to compete, learn and make new friends.
“More than 20 nations will be represented, including the Worimi people of Port Stephens. I’d like to wish all of our participants the very best of luck for the tournament and I can’t wait to welcome you all to Port Stephens,” he said.
Each team is made up of 70% Indigenous and 30% non-Indigenous young people. Education is a key foundation of Nations of Origin. To be eligible to take part, participants are required to have 80% school attendance.
PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle said sport is a powerful tool for social change and inclusion.
“Being involved in sport teaches young people important skills such as discipline, patience, communication, healthy behaviours and problem-solving in a team environment,” he said.
“Nations of Origin brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together through the shared interest of sport, encouraging learning, friendship and acceptance.”
Nations of Origin is also supported by funding from the Australian Government, Port Stephens Council and Tournament Partners NSW Rugby League, Basketball NSW, Northern NSW Football, Macquarie Football, and Gymnastics NSW.
Nations of Origin will be held from 29 June to 2 July. The following events are being held in Port Stephens:
- Rugby League will be held at Salamander Sports Complex on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 June from 8am to 4:30pm.
- Netball will be held at Nelson Bay Netball Courts on Wednesday 30 June from 8:30am to 4pm.