Coffs teams head to Sydney for statewide ‘Nations of Origin’

Coffs Harbour PCYC manager Ryan Claus.

TWO Rugby League Sevens teams will head south from Coffs Harbour to Western Sydney next week to compete in the Police Citizen Youth Clubs 2023 ‘Nations of Origin’.

The event – aimed at promoting reconciliation and cultural identity through sport – kicks off Tuesday.

The four-day sporting event will bring together more than 1,100 Indigenous youth from across NSW, representing 25 Indigenous Nations, to celebrate and promote reconciliation, cultural identity, education, and sport.

The tournament aims to empower Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth by encouraging them to celebrate the rich diversity of Aboriginal culture and its profound impact on our history.

Now in its 9th year, Nations of Origin allows young boys and girls from PCYC to compete in five different sports to build skills, character, leadership and encourage cultural respect and connections among youth.

Recently-appointed Coffs Harbour PCYC manager Ryan Claus said an under 16 years boys and under 16 years girls team would represent Coffs Harbour.

He said Nations of Origin was not so much about winning, but being involved.

“It will be a fantastic experience for the 18 kids involved, loads of fun and enjoyment, with heaps of activities,” Ryan said.

“Our sponsors have generously given their time and resources to make sure we have lots to offer our representatives to use and take home, like new boots, new footballs, all the gear.”

Abcare, the Coffs Harbour Aboriginal Family Community Care Centre, is the local teams’ major sponsor, assisting with accommodation, uniforms, boots and meals.

Other sponsors include TURSA and The Dental Centre.

“Some of these things may have a small impact for one person, but for another it could be massive,” Ryan said.

“Knowing that there are things we can do in our community that aren’t going to cost a family that can’t afford it, makes a significant impact and helps us get our teams to the tournament.”

He encouraged young people to get involved and take advantage of the PCYC’s facilities.

“Any activity done at the PCYC is done in an environment that is supervised by people who work with kids and know how to connect with kids in a non-judgmental way,” Ryan said. “We’re just here to help and support.

“Anything to do with getting your body active helps not only your physical health, but your mental health, emotional health, social health. There are copious amounts of benefits to being active and doing something and there’s nothing negative that comes from it.”

PCYC NSW chief executive Dominic Teakle said providing young people with the opportunity to represent their nation gave them a place to belong and connect with culture.

“Sport is really the tool,” Mr Teakle said.

“When the young people pull on the jersey to represent their nation, their mob, and most importantly, their elders; whom we respect as knowledge holders, survivors and leaders in our communities, the feeling of pride and achievement is palpable,” he said.

“Relationship building extends to the significant police involvement in Nations of Origin.”

The annual Nations of Origin tournament is a multifaceted program and an opportunity for youth to develop leadership skills, forge lasting friendships, and leave a legacy that honours the elders, whose custodianship of the land and culture we respect and acknowledge.

PCYC NSW is a registered charity established in 1937, whose mission is to empower young people to reach their potential through Police and community partnerships.

With more than 66 clubs across the state, PCYC initiates quality activities and programs in a safe environment.

For more information visit

Coffs Harbour Police Citizen Youth Club under 16 years girls Rugby League Sevens team are, from left, assistant coach Sara Smith and players Lyla Kelly, Eryn Sandry, Tavia Blair, Mickaylah Whitton and Lillyarna Donovan. (Absent: coach Zeta Knight and players Alana Bowyer, Isabella Eggins and Shaylah Thompson). Photo – CONTRIBUTED.

Leave a Reply