Gumbaynggirr team prepares for an Origin odyssey
NEARLY 800 young rugby league players from around the state are training their hearts out for the third PCYC NSW Nations of Origin rugby league 7s tournament.
It's the largest indigenous youth sporting event in NSW and the Gumbaynggirr representative team will be coached by Scott Mieni.
Scott is the former Coffs Harbour Comets and NSW Country Bulls head coach and is currently vice-chairman of Group 2 Rugby League.
"We've put together a competitive side and held good training sessions to prepare us for the carnival," Scott said.
The event brings together 64 teams from 26 NSW Aboriginal nations and runs this Wednesday and Thursday in Raymond Terrace and Port Stephens.
An initiative of PCYC NSW, each team will include indigenous and non-indigenous players to promote reconciliation within communities and engage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members in PCYC through the game of rugby league.
All teams will represent their community under their traditional Aboriginal nation name with uniforms adorned with their local totems.
The competition has been sanctioned by the NSW Country Rugby League and the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council.
Nations of Origin ambassadors are Indigenous Women's Rugby League All Star Eunice Grimes and former international David Peachey.
The latter is a familiar figure in local league through guest playing appearances with Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies at the Matthew Locke MG Charity match and in various community activities with Macksville Sea Eagles.
The rugby league Nations of Origin will be preceded by a Football 5s tournament at Lake Macquarie on Tuesday.
The events are supported by both the Worimi and Biraban local Aboriginal land councils.