The eighth annual Aunty Jean’s Koori mini Olympics was held in Nowra on Thursday and Friday last week.
Teams came from Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Wagga Wagga, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Albury Wodonga and Bega, Eden and Wallaga Lake.
Medal winnerswere Deanna Campbell, Liddy Stewart, May Button, Shirley Aldridge, Joy Kelly and Sandra Edwards.
The Aunty Jean’s Good Health Team program for Koori Elders with chronic health conditions was developed in the Illawarra region and now has groups active all over NSW.
The program was named in memory of Aunty Jean Morris, a well-respected woman who had a long association with the Illawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Koori Elders from Eden, Bega and Wallaga combined to form the Sapphire Coast All Stars and they competed in all sports events, winning two gold and four silver medals.
Team leaders for the All Stars, Joe Stewart and Donna Wade who work as Aboriginal Liaison Officers with the Bega District Hospital trained the successful team over many months.
“It’s terrific for the Elders to meet because we don’t see our old friends much these days,” said participant Shirley Aldridge.
“It’s improving every year with more teams joining in,” agreed Liddy Stewart.
“It’s almost as popular as the Koori football.”
For some the highlight is the performance at the end of the competition where the teams produce their own dance routine including traditional Koori dances.
They don’t just leave that to the young ones.