The eighth Aboriginal Power Cup carnival will commence at Alberton Oval this morning with Year 10 to 12 students coming from across the State to compete for the opportunity to play at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night, prior to the Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs clash.
The Aboriginal Power Cup, a joint partnership between the Port Adelaide Football Club and the South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy (SAASTA), first commenced in 2008 and since that time has grown significantly from 133 students at six schools to nearly 400 students from 32 schools this year.
The 2015 Aboriginal Power Cup has embraced the Gandhi-inspired theme Be the change you want to see with a key focus on leadership and reconciliation.
For the first time, the Aboriginal Power Cup introduced a “buddy up” system whereby all participating Aboriginal students were voluntarily partnered up with a non-Aboriginal student to educate them about Aboriginal history, culture and customs.
This theme will culminate on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval with all Aboriginal Power Cup students partnering with non-Aboriginal students to perform a traditional Aboriginal dance.
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said this year’s Aboriginal Power Cup has successfully complimented the club’s Reconciliation Action Plan which was enacted last July.
“Reconciliation is very much at the forefront of our Aboriginal engagement strategies and the buddy up system that has underpinned this year’s Aboriginal Power Cup has effectively promoted those values in the classroom,” Mr Thomas said.
“Not only has the non-Aboriginal student learnt more about Aboriginal culture but the Aboriginal student has been encouraged to learn more about their own culture and have enjoyed taking ownership in sharing that knowledge.
“We can’t wait to see the fruits of this year’s Aboriginal Power Cup on display this Saturday night at Adelaide Oval with the boys’ and girls’ grand final followed by the traditional Aboriginal dance ceremony.”
The Aboriginal Power Cup is built around an early intervention strategy that uses football as a tool to engage young Aboriginal secondary school students in their education and provide pathways to workforce participation.
Only students who successfully completed their classwork were invited to take part in the football carnival starting at Alberton today, with the participants set to take part in nine-a-side games. The event will also include a career and lifestyle expo, cultural activities and personal development workshops.
Mr Thomas said the success of the Aboriginal Power Cup was thanks to the incredible support from Santos and the Attorney-General’s Department.
“As a club we are very proud of the success of the Aboriginal Power Cup but we couldn’t have achieved what we have without the outstanding support of both the Attorney-General’s Department and Santos,” Mr Thomas said.
“The Attorney-General’s Department have been supporting us since the inception of the Aboriginal Power Cup in 2008 while Santos has been major partner of the program for the last five years.
“Without this support, the Aboriginal Power Cup wouldn’t be the success it is today, growing from humble beginnings in 2008 to engaging with nearly 400 students and 32 schools this year.
“Beyond their wonderful financial support which helps underpin the program, Santos also provides considerable in-kind support with staff donating many hours to the program across the year.”
Santos, Manager of Aboriginal Participation, Kerrynne Liddle says: “It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the students who come together for the Aboriginal Power Cup, after honouring their commitment to complete their education throughout the year.”
“It’s a fantastic achievement that is celebrated by the students over the three-day event, where they demonstrate their football prowess but also are immersed in health, lifestyle and career activities to help them identify individual paths to future successes.”
Manager, South Australian Aboriginal Sports Training Academy, Andrew Smith says: “It’s rewarding that all SAASTA students each year use their skills, knowledge and learnings gained to achieve success with their SACE.
“Every SACE completer through SAASTA in the last three years have utilised the Aboriginal Power Cup to finish their SACE certificate.”
The opening ceremony of the 2015 Aboriginal Power Cup will commence at 10.00am today at Alberton Oval.
10.00am – Official opening
10.05am – Welcome to Country ceremony
10.07am – Santos, Manager of Aboriginal Participation, Kerrynne Liddle
10.13am – Port Adelaide Aboriginal Programs Manager, Paul Vandenbergh
10.18am – Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Honourable Kyam Maher
10.30am – Aboriginal Power Cup football carnival commences