First Nations

SANFL Juniors to celebrate NAIDOC Week with First Nations Round

SANFL Juniors players in their First Nations Round guernseys on Adelaide Oval, located on the traditional place of the Kaurna People, from left, Ava Bailey-Green (Gepps Cross), Keanu Wittwer (Elizabeth), Zac Walker-Kluske (Golden Grove) and Cohen Haines (Gepps Cross).

By SANFL Media

A number of National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors clubs will mark the start of national 2024 NAIDOC Week by participating in First Nations Round this weekend.

After a successful inaugural First Nations Round in 2023, a growing number of community clubs across metropolitan Adelaide will be involved in activities to recognise and honour First Nations culture and the contribution of First Nations participants in our national game.

SANFL Juniors and Schools Competitions Manager Oliver Graham said it was great to see clubs getting involved through a range of activities, including acknowledgement of country and traditional smoking ceremonies before games, wearing arm tape in honour of First Nations people and donning creative specially-designed First Nations guernseys.

He said there was also a focus on education, with all clubs provided with an information sheet to share with their players and families about NAIDOC Week, which this year honours and recognises the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture.

For the first time, a limited number of Sherrin footballs, featuring artwork commissioned by SANFL from Ngarrindjeri, Nurrunga, Wirangu and Kaurna woman Gabriel Stengle, have been produced for the Round and will be gifted to a selection of participating clubs.

Mr Graham said this First Nations football, exclusively made by Sherrin for National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors, not only promotes the celebration of First Nations culture through the enjoyment of footy, but also shares a heightened awareness in the community of First Nations culture, where community clubs can make a difference.

“Clubs have embraced the round tremendously, with many opting in for gift exchanges, sock designs and also involving their First Nations players with their own ball and guernsey designs,” Mr Graham said.

“We thought it was really important to introduce First Nations Round through our junior competition to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution which First Nations players, coaches and volunteers have made, and continue to make, to our game,” Mr Graham said.


A limited edition National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors footy has been produced by Sherrin featuring artwork by Gabriel Stengle.

The fact sheet also features a special guernsey design by Elizabeth FC under-13 player Keanu Wittwer, which his team will wear during the round.

Describing the guernsey design, Keanu says:

“The meaning behind the design shows a big meeting place in the middle, which represents the home oval Elizabeth play on. The little meeting places around are for the away ovals and the footprints represent us leaving one meeting place to go to another.

“The people on the top represent the past present and future players and the snake is for courage and strength in the community. On the back the lizard represents the Tiwi island which is where our mob is from and the Kaurna shield is representing the land we play on.”

Keanu Wittwer from Elizabeth Football Clubs designed his club’s guernsey for First Nations Round in SANFL Juniors.

Cohen Haines, an under-14 player at Gepps Cross Football Club, will be wearing the club’s First Nation’s guernsey alongside his team mates this weekend.

“For us, wearing the First Nations guernsey really represents Aboriginal people and Indigenous people and just how skilful footballers they are,” he said.

“It really represents the club well with our club having a lot of Indigenous players,” Cohen said.

Fellow Gepps Cross player Ava Bailey-Green, whose under-14 girls team will also wear the special guernsey, agrees.

“We have this special guernsey with a different design which really represents the culture and the Aboriginal people at our club,” Ava said.

Golden Grove FC under-16 player Zac Walker-Kluske also will be donning a unique design to commemorate First Nations Round for the second year.

“First Nations Round doesn’t just celebrate Indigenous culture, but Indigenous people in general, playing football and watching them play football,” Zac said.

“It’s great for our club.”

NAIDOC Week celebrations will be held across the nation from July 7-14 in recognition of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

To find out more about the week and where local events will be held, visit the NAIDOC website at

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