Reinvented Garnduwa Festival a Great Success
Fitzroy Crossing again played host to this year’s Garnduwa Festival. However the 2014 event took on a new format which saw a return to Men’s and Women’s Basketball. Garnduwa called for nominations for basketball teams back in August and worked with the remote communities to plan and prepare for the event. There were 14 men’s teams playing for the Newcrest Cup, while there were 11 women’s teams playing for the Downer EDI Cup.
With this year’s event focusing on basketball it provided a great opportunity for Garnduwa to provide some education around playing, coaching and umpiring basketball. This included a series of Officiating Workshops delivered by Anika Graffunder, WA State League Referee, and Smarter than Smoking West Kimberley Program Manager Mick Albert. Jarred Prior, former Perth Wildcats and Redbacks player, was also on-hand to support the referees and give some coaching tips. In addition to the Officiating Workshops, there were also OneLife Suicide Prevention and Awareness workshops delivered by the team at Alive and Kicking.
The Garnduwa Festival began Friday afternoon October 3rd and the competition was on as soon as the first basketball was thrown in the air to get the Festival off to a great start. When the afternoon kicked off there were over 70 basketball games set to be played throughout the weekend to lead up to the finals. The games continued all day and into the evening on Saturday. Competition in both divisions was exciting with teams jostling for the all-important top four to advance into the finals on Sunday.
While temperatures soared on and off the courts some great basketball was played over the three days which resulted in two exciting Grand Final Games. In the Women’s Division it was the Junjuwa All-Stars who prevailed over the Ngunjuwirri Pacers, 23-13, while in the Men’s Division it was the Ngunjuwirri Bub who had an exciting win over Yurmulun Suns, 26-20.
As with each Garnduwa Festival we would not be able to hold such a great event without our sponsors, Downer EDI, Newcrest Mining and Marra Worra Worra and volunteers. We would like to send out special thanks to our sponsors Downer EDI, Newcrest Mining and Marra Worra Worra, and all of our volunteers, especially the Blue Shirts and Red Shirts. You all made this another unforgettable weekend for all the athletes and the fans.