KRSP Cup forms bond between Claremont Football Club and Kimberley Spirit. Claremont Football Club Colts prepare to contest talent-filled Kimberley Spirit in Broome on Saturday, 15 July 2017..
FOOTY is almost a religion in the Kimberley.
When Kimberley Regional Service Providers (KRSP) wanted a new way to support and connect with the Aboriginal people who call the isolated coastal and inland communities of northern Western Australia home, the revered Aussie Rules game was an obvious inroad.
The KRSP Cup was established four years ago as an opportunity for keen, talented footballers from the Kimberley to gather annually as the formidable Kimberley Spirit, for football and life skills workshops and a competitive game against the Claremont Football Club Colts.
Kimberley Spirit Football Academy
Claremont Football Club
Balcatta-based KRSP has helped strengthen the bridge between the Kimberley communities it services and the WA Football League Regional Recruiting Zones, with Claremont Football Club committed to drawing some of its regional indigenous talent from the picturesque but remote region.
KRSP’s brainchild – the KRSP Cup – debuted in Broome four years ago.
The Tigers team, including current Eagles recruit and former Balgo resident and Claremont Colts defender Francis Watson (21), caught the plane to Broome for the inaugural weekend in July 2014.
The Colts participated in footy workshops and fishing, followed by a competitive match against the Kimberley Spirit, whose members gathered from Halls Creek, Wyndam, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby and Kununurra to play the game they love.
Over the years, the Tigers have won two out of the three matches and the Kimberley Spirit hopes to square the ledger at this year’s match in Broome on 15 July.
CFC Talent Development Manager Warren Parker said the experience was invaluable for both Tigers and Kimberley Spirit players.
This year a Tigers team of 25-30 will travel to Bidyadanga for a range of football workshops, and to get a feel for what it’s like to live and grow up in an isolated community.
“Some of our players have no idea what it’s like for our Aboriginal recruits to come down to Perth, away from their from home and family to play football. The KRSP Cup is the perfect opportunity to see firsthand, the challenges of living and leaving this different way of life,” Mr Parker said.
“And it’s great when players like Sam Petrevksi-Seton, raised in Halls Creek, and Francis Watson get to head back up north as part of the Tigers Colts, to show their team mates around and catch up with family, friends and other talented Kimberley footballers.
“The Colts learn about the locals and their priorities, especially their ties to family and the land, and the local Aboriginal guys get a taste of what it might be like to be part of a serious football club, start a new job or study, and do it down south away from home.”
Petrevski-Seton (19), once a Tigers under-16 and Claremont league player, made his AFL debut with Carlton in March, and like Eagles Category B rookie defender Watson, is a constant source of inspiration to his Kimberley contemporaries.
Kimberley Spirit Program Coordinator, Shaun Norman from Garnduwa Amboorny Wirna, said the KRSP Shield match played a pivotal role in the Kimberley Spirit Football Academy program and development of its talented U/18 male Kimberley footballers.
“A key objective of our program is to provide opportunities to players to become the best they can be,” Mr Norman said.
“The KRSP Cup is more than a match to our players; it’s an opportunity that helps our high-performance football program teach basic life skills, develop careers, and provide mental wellbeing education.”
Claremont FC CEO Graham Moss said the KRSP Cup allowed the Club to continue developing its understanding of the challenges players faced when relocating to Perth to pursue footballing careers, and how to provide the unique support they needed to do that.
“The Kimberley community is extremely important to our Club, as are the players representing us who call it home,” Mr Moss said.
“Concepts like this only benefit our goals of providing opportunity to players from the Kimberley and being a positive influence towards the region as a whole.”
KRSP Managing Director Gary Johnson said the Cup was a way to provide Kimberley youth an opportunity to showcase their unique football talent.
“Bringing young players from the city to the Kimberley broadens their football knowledge and introduces them to the region’s strong indigenous culture,” Mr Johnson said.
“Coming after the most recent indigenous round, this year’s Cup will encourage the Kimberley players to strive toward their goals and understand what is involved to one day play in the big league.
“There is a great bond of friendship between Claremont and the Kimberley Spirit for what is a fantastic fun-filled event, and we look forward to offering our support to this exhibition match into the future.”
For more information, contact:
Michele Nugent at 0413 214 269 or email@example.com