FIFTEEN local Aboriginal Elders are off to Port Stephens to compete in the 2016 Aboriginal Elders Olympic Games, with the excited team planning to win the right to host the 2017 games locally.
Thirty-five teams from NSW will compete in a range of games including quoits, relay races and bean bag throwing, and traditional Aboriginal games including Gorri, Kee’an and Buroinjin.
Inverell Elder Elaine Binge said the Elders Olympics encourage respect and healthy living as part of Seniors Week celebrations across NSW.
"The Olympics are more than just sport and a fun day encouraging health living,” Elaine said.
“The day is also about recognising the unique experiences and important contributions that Elders make to their communities around Australia.”
The Aboriginal Olympics brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders from across NSW for a day of laughter and friendly competition.
This year, Port Stephens is hosting the ninth Aboriginal Elders Olympics at the Tomaree Sports Complex on Thursday, April 7.
The 15-member 2016 Inverell-Tingha team gratefully acknowledged the sponsorship of Whitehaven Coal.
“Whitehaven is proud to be supporting the Inverell Tingha Elders team and we will certainly be cheering them on in Port Stephens during the games,” Paul Flynn, chief executive officer of Whitehaven Coal said.
Elaine said the games bring young indigenous volunteers together with Aboriginal Elders in a relaxed family environment where new generations can enhance their cultural knowledge.
“I have never seen so many Elders in the one place,” she said.
“It’s a real happy time for everyone. A great chance to catch up with old friends and family and make some new friends, too.”