Macksville High Mantas U16 rugby league girls receive new jerseys in time for finals

Looking deadly. The mightily impressive U16s (from left) Ellie Welsh, Lillah Hoffman, Bree Ferguson, Wulaaran Walker, Sienna Harris and Lani Walshe. With Jenni Farrands from 3rd Space Mob and coach Nathan White
Looking deadly. The mightily impressive U16s (from left) Ellie Welsh, Lillah Hoffman, Bree Ferguson, Wulaaran Walker, Sienna Harris and Lani Walshe. With Jenni Farrands from 3rd Space Mob and coach Nathan White

Ready or not, here they come!

Tomorrow the Macksville High Mantas U16s rugby league girls will be vying for their chance to take on Sydney.

And with their brand new team jerseys, they’re looking and feeling “deadly”.

The girls are stoked about their flash new uniforms, which are now identical to the Manta boys’ except for the purple shoulders.

Before, the boys and girls league teams had different jerseys. We’re all one now – united. There’s no divide between the boys and girls.

Bree Ferguson

And the boys are feeling it too; a huge number have volunteered to head along as support for the girls at their North Coast finals.

The girls are proud to have transitioned from the space of the “watchers” to the “doers”. 

“This gives us the opportunity to play a sport we really enjoy,” they said.

The jerseys are unique in the realm of high school sport in that they incorporate Indigenous motifs throughout the design – something the players are particularly proud of.

“They help us to reflect on the people who were here before us while we play. And they’ll make us stand out from the other schools,” they said.

Indigenous Service Provider 3rd Space Mob’s Jenni Farrands is delighted her organisation was able to provide the funds for the jerseys, in hopes that they will further inspire the enthusiastic young women to explore the “action stuff”.

“Because it’s just as important for girls. People think it’s a traditional view to have women sitting around doing stuff, but I don’t think it’s traditional at all. It just fills you with joy, seeing their enthusiasm for the jerseys and the game – it’s just so good,” she said.

“And this is the future for all these kids now – girls’ sport is on the way up.

“I’m also really happy that this allows them to connect to country. The beautiful thing about these jerseys is that they cross cultural divides; Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids alike are proud to wear them.”

The manta ray crest was lovingly drawn by long-serving History teacher, Merrilyn Sheather.

The manta ray crest was lovingly drawn by long-serving History teacher, Merrilyn Sheather.

Coach Nathan White said the U16 team is the keenest he’s got this year and are always up for a training session.

“They’re so keen to train that it’s all they talk about,” he said.

“And the new jerseys will make a difference.”

According to the team, the jerseys are fresh and comfortable and are going to help them “slay” tomorrow at the North Coast finals.

“We look so deadly now – if you’re looking good, you feel good, and you play good too,” Wulaaran Walker said.

Go girls!

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