first_imgTouch Football Australia have pleasure in announcing details of the first official tour by a fully sanctioned Australian Indigenous Touch Team.On a red-letter day, with an historic “Apology” being tabled as the first item of business for the new federal parliament today to Indigenous Australians for the tribulations of the past on the behalf of the federal government, it is fitting that TFA spotlights Indigenous participation in our sport with the announcement of the tour.After many months of planning between Touch Football Australia and the TFA Indigenous Advisory Committee, final team selections have been completed and details of the historic tour to New Zealand have been released.The 7-day whistle-stop tour will stretch from Tuesday 1 April – Monday 7 April 2008 and is an exciting cross-cultural exchange for both Countries.The on-field action will see the Aussies engaged in clashes against the major Touch Football centres of the North Island of New Zealand.Provincial combinations from Hamilton and Auckland are sure to test the mettle of the Australian Indigenous squad, whilst the competitive highlight is sure to be a series of games against New Zealand Youth squads (the Junior Touch Blacks) in Wellington.TFA High Performance Coordinator Wayne Grant is excited by the positive outcomes the tour is likely to generate for the sport and the individuals participating.“This is a unique opportunity to provide a pathway for talented Indigenous players to learn, improve, and to showcase their talents on a bigger stage. The cross cultural exchange in terms of traditions and styles will be a great bonus, and the opportunity to represent Australia in an official Indigenous Team will be a major highlight in the careers of these players,” Mr. Grant said.TFA will be sending a Men’s and Women’s Open Team to New Zealand, and the combinations are chockfull of talent.The Women’s Open team will be spearheaded by dual Australian Women’s Open World Cup Winner (2003/07) Bo De La Cruz, former Australian Women’s Open Training squad member Theresa Anderson and former Australian Youth representative, Tamara Appo.Current TFA National Youth Squad members Jordan Ahsam, Kristin Wuruki, Jess Shaw, and Jenaya Quan are young guns on the rise and will benefit enormously from the opportunity to test themselves against potential 2009 Youth World Cup combatants in the shape of the Young Black 18 Years Girls and 20 Years Women’s Teams.The Indigenous Women’s Team will be coached by 2007 Australian Mixed Open World Cup Assistant Coach and 2009 Australian 20 Years Mixed YWC Coach, Karley Banks.Northern Eagles NTL coaching identity Corey Draws will Assistant Coach the team, with Jenny Benson from New South Wales managing the side.The Men’s Open Team will include current Lebanon Men’s Open World Cup player Trent Touma, TFA National Youth Training Squad members Cody Green, and Kristian Congo, as well as 2005 Australian Youth World Cup representatives Ricky Morris and Matt Baker.Two players, brothers Naselli and Pattock Tamwoy are from Badu Island and are amongst a player group that resides in many and varied parts of the nation.The Team will be coached by TFA National 18 Years Men’s Assistant Coach Ricky Luland.Assistant Coach is ACT based Michael Zitha, and Manager is the experienced Barbarians NTL identity, Gus David.Prominent Indigenous Touch Football identities Harry and Isobel Appo will be a part of a Tour Management group that includes TFA High Performance Coordinator Wayne Grant and Physiotherapist Sharon Searston.The Australian Indigenous Teams are hard at work fundraising to help offset costs of an $1800 per person tour levy.The touring party are unable to access any form of Indigenous funding as the team selected is Indigenous only and under the Australian Sports Commission’s Elite Indigenous Travel & Accommodation Assistance Program [EITAAP] scheme, individuals selected in Indigenous only teams are ineligible to receive funding and Indigenous organisations are ineligible to act as sponsoring organisations.Michael Connolly of Dreamtime Kullilla-Art is the Munda-gutta – Kullawari, is the 2008 AITF Cultural Ambassador & Fundraising Campaign Manager, and is attempting to raise money to help offset costs by encouraging Indigenous and all Australians to make gold coin donations to assist with the overall costs of the Tour.Visit Michael’s website for details of how to make a pledge at or alternatively you would like to make a contribution contact Isobel Appo  or Tel:  08 89368131.The Australian Indigenous Women’s Open Team is: Jordan Ahsam, Theresa Anderson, Tamara Appo, Courtney Bailey, Emma Brereton, Bo De La Cruz, Kayla Faulkner, Sara Hamilton, Ashley Monkland, Jenaya Quan, Kristin Wuruki, Kristin Pearson, Jessica Shaw.The Australian Indigenous Men’s Open Team is: Matt Baker, Colin Cedric, Ross Cedric, Cody Green, Jesse Green, Ricky Morris, Chris Rankine, Trent Touma, David Davis, Steven Ware, Damon Viellaris, Naselli Tamwoy, Pattock Tamwoy.Touch Football Australia congratulate these players and wish them the very best for the tour.last_img