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PCYC groups excited to experience Kings' Indigenous Round clash

8 December 2022

4 mins read

Sunday's showdown with the Tasmania JackJumpers will be special in more ways than one.

Firstly, it will mark the first clash between the Kings and JackJumpers since last year's grand final series.

But also, it will be the NBL22 champion's annual Indigenous Round fixture.

As such, plans are in place of the round 10 match to be attended by numerous community groups that the Hoops Capital side support around the NSW area. 

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One of those groups is PCYC NSW, an iconic, registered youth charity. PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle said the relationship between the Kings and PCYC is very important to its mission to get young people active in life.

“The community partnership between PCYC NSW and Sydney Kings allows PCYC to reward young people who have made the effort to commit to life skills programs and make positive choices that change the trajectory of their lives," Teakle said.

On Sunday, close to 70 young people from PCYC clubs across the state will attend Qudos Bank Arena, including an under 16s Indigenous basketball team and coach from PCYC Eastern Suburbs, 23 from Taree PCYC (including a Nations of Origin basketball team and Learn To Play basketball program - featuring young people from Biripi and Worimi), 20 teenage Midjuburi Ballers, a basketball team from Marrickville PCYC, 12 Indigenous youth from Walgett PCYC and four First Nations People from the Far South Coast PCYC.

"PCYC NSW provides a safe place for young people to flourish by reinforcing the importance of connection to country and the positive health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity," Teakle said. 

"Across our 66 clubs in NSW, PCYC has more than 43 basketball courts which give our Indigenous and First Nation's Peoples access to see the positive impact that sport and more specifically, basketball can have.

"Basketball is a great connector allowing PCYC to celebrate Australia’s diverse indigenous culture and its deep impact on our history."

This sentiment is reiterated by PCYC Marrickville acting club manager Emmanuel Vardakis, whose club is excited to be a part of Sunday's fixture.

"Indigenous rounds are important as they create a sense of inclusivity and recognition for First Nations peoples within the NBL following," said Vardakis, whose programs encourage children to apply themselves to achieve their goals.

"For spectators, especially children, who admire and idolise players, seeing basketballers come together in respect for the culture is very important.

"Indigenous initiatives such as these celebrate the active participation and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and it is important for people to recognise this.

"In particular, the Midjuburi Ballers (the PCYC Marrickville basketball team) love attending NBL games as it is a good team bonding experience, and it encourages them in their own basketball endeavours.

"The players are NBL fans, and this opportunity will be inspiring, especially, as the team will get to see Biwali Bayles, who regularly trains at Marrickville PCYC."

Echoing Vardakis' comments is Amanda Harrison the club manager of PCYC Walgett, whose youth will be travelling more than 800km from northern NSW to watch the game.

"Sunday will be the kids' first time to an NBL game, in a stadium they have never been to, with more people attending than ten times Walgett’s population - combine the atmosphere, the crowd and the players in their indigenous jerseys and it'll all be very special," Harrison said.

"Initiatives like the NBL’s Indigenous Round is a great opportunity to highlight the role that First Nations people play within their sporting clubs and the wider community, to young people who go to watch them play, wear their jersey and see them as role models - being an identifiable link between them, their players and their team.

"It will show them that it doesn't matter where you come from or what your background is, but if you put your mind to something you can be successful."

Grab your tickets to the 4pm clash here.

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