Garnduwa Festival Takes a New Direction

 Ngunjiwirri Pacers in action at the 2013 Garnduwa Festival A Grade final against the Bidyadanga Sailors. The Pacers went on to win the title.

Ngunjiwirri Pacers in action at the 2013 Garnduwa Festival A Grade final against the Bidyadanga Sailors. The Pacers went on to win the title.

The hugely popular Garnduwa Festival, which celebrates Indigenous remote community sport, recreation and culture and is held in Fitzroy Crossing each year, is looking at changing its format. After 21 years, football, live bands, and cultural performances will not be a part of the three day event as basketball for men and women will take centre stage.

The 2014 Garnduwa Festival will be a pilot program to look at reinvigorating remote community basketball back to the levels it enjoyed before the emergence of football. The Festival will be held in Fitzroy Crossing during the middle weekend of the October school holidays. Commencing on Friday, October 3rd Garnduwa will be hosting a 32 team men’s and women’s basketball competition over the three day festival.

Garnduwa’s long serving Chairperson and basketball enthusiast, Marmingee Hand said, “The Garnduwa Executive is looking forward to reviving what the original concept of the Festival was in the early 1990’s. This was promoting remote communities participation in chosen sports by staging well-organised competitions that also give opportunities for the participants to learn new skills and develop their capacity to run their own competitions.”

Michael Albert, the Garnduwa West Kimberley Program Manager and Kimberley Football Association Chair also supports the move. “Football has moved ahead greatly in the twenty years of the Festival and nearly all the men from around the Kimberley now have an opportunity to play season football largely due to their participation in past Garnduwa Festivals.”

Invitations to participate will be sent out from each of the Garnduwa offices in August with the hope of finalising the number of teams participating by early September.

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