Indigenous Football Week® 2022 will be held 24 to 30 October and will unite the Indigenous football community to celebrate “Mayamantharra: Partnerships for Success”, highlighting the power of working together to improve young Indigenous players’ access to the life-changing benefits of football.
IFW22, a John Moriarty Football (JMF) initiative, in partnership with adidas, A-Leagues, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), SBS, and NITV, will be celebrated at all Round 4 Isuzu UTE A-League Men matches and in JMF communities and schools across NT, NSW and Queensland.
Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, JMF Co-Founder/Co-Chair and the first Indigenous footballer selected for Australia, said, “We are looking forward to celebrating IFW22 across Australia. From Coopers Stadium in Adelaide, across to AAMI Park in Melbourne, through regional NSW, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and all the way up to Borroloola, NT where we started JMF 10 years ago.”
“This year we are celebrating Mayamantharra, from the Yanyuwa language of my hometown Borroloola in the Northern Territory, meaning ‘collaboration’. The week is about the partnerships that enable Indigenous football to thrive. Whether it’s in the 19 Indigenous communities where JMF is delivered, at a national or international level, when we work together we can ensure more equitable access for grassroots and elite Indigenous players. We are grateful for the support of all our partners who work with us.”
“Football can be a powerful vehicle for unlocking the potential of Indigenous peoples and creating pathways to transformational opportunities and overcoming social disadvantage. As we draw closer to Australia and New Zealand hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, IFW22 will bring the football community together to support inclusion, cultural recognition and diversity,” added Mr Moriarty.
IFW22 Parton, adidas Ambassador, current Matilda and Manchester City player, Mary Fowler said, “I’m incredibly honoured to be the Patron for Indigenous Football Week 2022. It’s an amazing opportunity to share the power and joy of football with Indigenous children around the world. Football has taught me a lot about life. Every day we are pushed into countless situations, on and off the field, and it’s how we react in those situations that determines the kind of person we are: brave, resilient, humble, compassionate.”
“I really like how John Moriarty Football is working to improve young Indigenous players’ access to the life-changing benefits of football. I’m proud to be part of this goal,” added Ms Fowler.
A-Leagues celebrates IFW22 as a proud partner. IFW22 will be the centerpiece of the Round 4 of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men 2022/23 season. Each match will include a Welcome to Country ceremony, a celebration of Indigenous culture and the opportunity for fans to join our story and donate to further the work of JMF.
Australian Professional Leagues CEO Danny Townsend commented, “We are proud to partner with John Moriarty Football for this year’s Indigenous Football Week.”
“Representation of Indigenous communities in football is increasing, and we are committed to ensuring that our game is culturally safe and inclusive at every level. Our essential work to ensure the continued creation of, and support for, player pathways for First Nations women and men into the A-Leagues is ongoing and we support programs and activities that increase engagement and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said Mr Townsend.
Kathryn Gill, Professional Footballers Australia Co-CEO, said, “Over the last decade, JMF has made an incredible impact on the lives of many young Australians. As we celebrate 10 years of JMF this week, it’s wonderful to be able to reflect on that impact, celebrate JMF’s achievements and continue the players’ commitment to supporting and building JMF’s capacity.”
Also during IFW22 the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Indigenous Football Australia (IFA) Council will be held to workshop optimising the benefits of JMF. In July 2022 IFA formed a partnership with adidas to work together to build Indigenous football in Australia through the delivery of JMF.
Steve Castledine, General Manager, adidas Pacific, said, “At adidas, we are passionate about our partnership with Indigenous Football Australia, with the goal to drive inclusivity and create a fairer future in sport. Built upon adidas’ belief in the transformational power of sport and a shared ambition for equitability, adidas and IFA are committed to work together to help unlock the potential of Indigenous footballers across Australia.”
Other IFW22 events include a Charity Football Tournament at Allianz Stadium, Sydney on 25 October where corporate teams will compete and raise funds for JMF.
IFW, IFA and JMF are delivered by Moriarty Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that delivers successful Indigenous program solutions through resilient local engagement. Its underpinning community-driven framework is based on improved wellbeing and strong protective relationships for the staff, children and families it works with.
JMF’s sister program is Indi Kindi, an early learning program for the under-fives and their families to improve the global readiness of Aboriginal children entering pre-school and school. Indi Footi is a key component of Indi Kindi that activates young brains through movement, and develops basic football and motor skills, balance and coordination in a fun, non-competitive environment.
For more information on IFW22 visit www.indigenousfootballweek.org.au
For more information on JMF visit www.jmf.org.au