On Friday the kids of the Nambucca Valley all came together to enjoy a day of sun and fun in each others’ company.
The second Bowraville Memorial Cup was a huge success for all involved, tripling in size in its second year and attracting over 350 people.
Over 200 kids from seven schools inlcuding Bowraville Central, St Mary’s, Nambucca Heads High, and Macksville High entered into the free and friendly touch football competition at Hennessey Tape Oval.
All entrants were gifted a jersey and stainless steel drink bottle to mark the occasion, and were randomly placed into teams which broke through age, skill-level, gender, racial and geographical barriers.
Each jersey bore the tribute ‘In loving memory of Evelyn Greenup, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Colleen Walker’.
The day was organised by ReadyMob from the Galambila Aboriginal Health Service and is an initiative that has come out of the recommendations from the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Bowraville Murders.
Kristy Pursch and David Reid from Readymob worked for months with the community and service providers to put on the massive alcohol, smoke and sugar-free event.
“Bowraville is really ready for support and to move forward,” Kristy said.
“And we want the kids to know that the community is there for them, and that they’re important.”
“Just look around—all these people have come out here today for them.”
On top of the footy matches, over 40 service providers set up stalls with interactive elements to shed light on the levels of support already available for the community.
WATCH: The big Valley dance-off
The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) set up a photo booth and a ‘slime-making’ workshop, Phoenix and ROADMAPS organised fresh fruit platters, the Bowraville Lions Club hosted a barbecue lunch, the Bowraville Fire and Rescue crew demonstrated the jaws of life, and there was even a jumping castle, petting zoo and dance competition.
Another highlight was a chance to try some local traditional tucker of periwinkles from Shelley Beach, pippies from Crescent Head and some ‘jiri’ (woodworm) from the weir at Scotts Head.
“It’s a real festival vibe here today,” Kristy said.
After an elders footy match and the touch finals, local rapping prodigy Tasman Keith, of Triple J Unearthed fame, entertained his home crowd.
David and Kristy said they were happy with the way the community had come together for the event.
“It’s about working together; we’ve got kids from Bowra, Macksville, Scotts Head all playing on the same team,” David said.
“Seeing that kind of coming together will help to get rid of town rivalry and stigma.”
The pair say the event will continue into the future and are working towards getting permanent funding and sponsorship.
It is planned that the Bowraville Memorial Cup will eventually be handed over to the community to organise once it becomes more established.