It was game on for the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders on 15 March as they went head to head in the inaugural Elders Olympics held at Wollondilly Leisure Centre in Picton.
The combined Wingecarribee and Camden team, compromising of Bob Simpson, Garry Russell and Beryl Fish from the Wingecarribee Shire and John Ferrif, Denise Proberts, Margaret Foat and Graeme Ferrif from Camden went one better than last year’s result and took home first place for the combined team.
Presenting the gold medal to Council at last night’s meeting was Chair of Council’s Aboriginal Community and Cultural Centre Working Group, Councillor Larry Whipper.
“Whilst the Elders Olympics is primarily a fun day out, it does have a serious side in raising the awareness and profile of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture,” Councillor Whipper said.
“The day also celebrates older people in regional and metropolitan New South Wales and helps to acknowledge their continuing contribution to family, friends, workplaces and their communities.
“It’s also an opportunity to form social connections with like-minded groups across our neighbouring Local Government areas,” Councillor Whipper said.
The elder groups included representatives from the Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Bankstown, Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown Local Government areas.
Approximately 200 people were in attendance on the day, which was put together by Macarthur Disability Services and volunteers from Youth Off the Streets. The Australian National Anthem was sung in traditional language by children from John Warby Public School and the games included quoits, bean bag toss, tunnel ball, walking relay and Gorri.
“Whilst the activities may have been termed ‘gentle exercise’, I can testify the competition was indeed fierce,” said Councillor Whipper.
Sponsors and supporters of the event were Camden Council; Wingecarribee Shire Council; Wollondilly Shire Council; Campbelltown Council; NSW Government Communities, Sport and Recreation; Tharawal Land Council, Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation-Djurali, Muru Nanga Mai, South Western Sydney Local Health District and Bankstown Area Multicultural Network.