14/04/2024

A smoking ceremony held on gameday accompanied by a Welcome to Country performed by John Lochowiak. (Picture: Sturt FC/Facebook)

SANFL side Sturt celebrated SANFLW Indigenous Round with a number of events, including a meeting with the club's CEO to begin designing the 2022 Indigenous guernsey.

As the SANFLW competition celebrated Indigenous Round last week, the Sturt Football Club emrbaced the occasion in its own way.

Indigenous Round is one of the most important of the year, celebrating the efforts and contributions of past and current Indigenous players of SANFL and SANFLW at all clubs.

To start off the week, the Indigenous players of Sturt’s women’s and men’s programs were invited to have dinner with Sturt CEO Sue Dewing.

This was done to start designing the Indigenous guernsey that will be worn by the men’s team during the Indigenous round. The women’s program will not wear this guernsey due to the league only announcing this round a few weeks ago.

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In terms of showing their support, the club recently released re-usable face masks as well as hair ribbons with an Indigenous design with the colours of the football club.

The design used on the ribbons that the players wore was created by Pat Caruso. Caruso is an Eastern Arrarnte Graphic Artist who has also designed other Indigenous Round guernseys, such as the AFLW Adelaide Crows design for 2022.

The story involved in the design of these ribbons was that of past player and Wirangu and Mirning man Jeremy Johncock.

These were worn by the players during the game on Saturday.

Sturt SANFLW Players wearing the ribbons designed by Pat Caruso. (Picture: Sturt Football Club/Facebook)

Talented Indigenous artist and owner of Maali Yorga Arts, Amy Walley Stack, leant her abilities to the cause. She was tasked with hand-painting some of the players’ football boots as well as a football.

The football was given to the North Adelaide Football Club as part of the Indigenous themed gift exchange between clubs.

The players were given warm-up t-shirts to wear to show their support during the warm-up. The SANFL provided these to all clubs, and they were designed by Gangurru Aboriginal Apparel.

They are an Aboriginal owned and operated clothing company which produces promotional and custom clothing.

Captain Maya Rigter, Kristal Tak, Nekia Wilson and Kate Harris. (Picture: Sturt Football Club/Facebook)

Before the game there was a Welcome to Country performed by Wati man, John Lochowiak. Lochowiak is the father of three of the current SANFL players Mihail, Anzac and Jacob, who played together in a team for the first time in 2021.

He was born to a Polish father and Aboriginal mother, Mabel Walker. His grandmother, Linda Walker, was a Kaurna elder, and his great-grandfather, Arthur Walker, was an Indigenous soldier and part of the ANZACs.

The game against the North Adelaide Roosters was a very tight and low-scoring affair with the first and only goal of the game being kicked with five minutes to go in the last quarter. Georgia Bevan gave the assist off to Alysha Healy for the goal to give Sturt the lead and the win.

Sturt won 1.4.10 to North Adelaide 0.7.7.

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