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Mon. May 27th, 2024

A team of twenty local Aboriginal Elders are off to Port Stephens next month to compete in the Aboriginal Elders Olympic Games and they have their sights on winning the right to host the 2024 games locally.

Established in 2001, the Elders Olympics sees teams of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders aged over 50 come together from across NSW for friendly competition and a celebration of healthy living.

The event has been dubbed as a modern-day corrobboree and is an opportunity to foster friendship between Aboriginal Elders from tribes and clans across the state.

This year’s Olympics, to be held on Worimi Country at Tomaree Sports Complex on 3-4 May, will consist of traditional Aboriginal games such as Gorri and Kee An, as well as old favourites such as quoits, tunnel ball, bean bag throwing and relay.

Joyce Livermore, spokesperson for Elders group the South Inverell Bear Eaters, says she’s excited to see the return of the Elders Olympics, which has not been held since 2020 due to the pandemic.

“I’ve been nine or ten times now and really enjoy it,” she said.

“You get to talk to people you’ve never met before and they often mention what a good time they had when Inverell held the event back in 2018. We’d love to have the event back here again”.

“Linking Together Centre has sponsored our shirts, so our team shirts are ready and we’re now working on the banner we will carry into the opening ceremony”.

“We would like to thank Yurruun Aboriginal Corporation for their donation to ensure our Elders can take part in the event and also thank Belinda Tully at Armajun Medical Centre for her support”.

Two young volunteers, Brayden Livermore and Jamie Livermore, will also make the trip as the support team.

Leroy Connors, chairperson of Yurruun Aboriginal Corporation said “Yurruun is proud to be supporting the South Inverell Bear Eaters team and I acknowledge the support of Aboriginal Affairs NSW for their funding”.

“The Olympics are an important way to recognise our Elders and the contribution they make to our communities across Australia.

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