SWIFTS Football Netball Club president Steve Hoffman believes moving the club’s Indigenous round clash with Taylors Lake to coincide with National Reconciliation Week would make sense.
“It’s been talked about and it’s something we would love to do – it would also marry up with the AFL,” he said.
Swifts and Taylors Lake will play out their annual Indigenous game on August 4 in round 16.
“Unfortunately with the way the Horsham District league does their draws we basically have to let it fall when it falls,” Mr Hoffman said.
I think other clubs would like to be involved in making it a league-wide Indigenous round.Tammy McDonald
Taylors Lake president Tammy McDonald said she would prefer the game to be during NAIDOC week in July.
“If we were going to designate the game as a specific time of the year we would like it to be during NAIDOC week as it’s more of a celebration of Indigenous culture,” she said.
“I think other clubs would also like to be involved in making it a league-wide Indigenous round.”
The Wimmera league runs an Indigenous round every year with the Horsham Demons versus Dimboola game the marquee contest in round 11 this season on July 7, aligning with NAIDOC week.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee general manager Steve McQueen said it would be difficult to ensure both of the breakout fixtures in each league coincided to take place on the same weekend.
“It doesn’t match with the AFL but we still have our separate round,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate we can’t match it up. If it wasn’t these particular clubs we would run parallel with the AFL – because it’s two clubs in each league we can only do it when they are drawn together. To match two clubs in each league into one weekend would be up to luck.”
Former Dimboola player and Indigenous leader Stuart Harradine said he would like to see the Horsham District and Wimmera leagues hold separate Indigenous rounds to coincide with the start and end of NAIDOC week.
“If the rounds are on the same day then Aboriginal community members have to make a choice as to which one to attend – it would take some pressure off them having them separately,” he said.
Mr McQueen said recognising the Indigenous population was important.
“Both leagues have a proud and recognised history of Indigenous players being involved,” he said.