Jeffrey Hudson from Cairns has been named captain of the Queensland side for the AFL Indigenous Kickstart U15 championships on the Gold Coast,

Wednesday, 31 August, 2011

Jeffrey Hudson from Cairns has been named captain of the Queensland side for the AFL Indigenous Kickstart U15 championships on the Gold Coast,

He is pictured on the beach with Queensland captain Darryl White.

Jared Isbel from Brisbane South and Trey Kemp from Brisbane North will share the vice-captaincy.

They will lead a side that has had two late changes – Myra Tomsana from Ingham and Tollowah Savage from Mooroobool have been forced out with injury and have been replaced by Kusam Nuwia from Townsville and Heath Molloy from Manunda.

The Indigenous KickStart Championships will be played on the Gold Coast from Wednesday August 31 to Sunday September 4.

The Championships will engage 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men, representing all states and territories making up six teams of 25 participants each.

The teams are: NSW/ACT, Victoria/Tasmania, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

AFL General Manager of National & International Development David Matthews said “It’s great to grow the opportunity for young Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander men and to bring another AFL event to the Gold Coast,” he said. 

The Championship is an expansion of the annual KickStart camp which involved 50 participants.

Players are selected on criteria consisting of leadership qualities, school attendance, community involvement and football ability. State KickStart camps have been conducted to select teams.

AFL National Community Engagement Manager Jason Mifsud said the KickStart program will continue to use Australian football as a vehicle for education, employment, health and participation outcomes for Indigenous people. 

“KickStart’s expansion will enable us to grow the pool of talented Indigenous footballers, and equally important, it will further expand our engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and enable us to continually deliver broader social value.

“The Championships will also provide further development opportunities for other parts of the football industry such as umpiring, coaching and administration with local Indigenous people engaged in these leadership positions for each team,” Mr Mifsud said.

“Holding the Championships on the Gold Coast is also a very significant engagement opportunity for us. With some 60,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the South East Queensland region, the feedback and support from the local community has already been excellent.”

During the Championships participants will meet Indigenous AFL players and engage in leadership seminars.

The best performing teams will play in a curtain-raiser prior to the Gold Coast v Hawthorn match at Metricon Stadium on Saturday September 3.

At the conclusion of the Championships, 25 players will be selected for the 2011 Flying Boomerangs squad. The squad will tour Fiji in December this year.

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