In the lead-up to NAIDOC week from 8-15 November 2020, groups of Olympic and Paralymic athletes met with traditional landowners at their home training venue as part of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Share a Yarn initiative.
Athletes shared a yarn with local indigenous custodians at six sporting locations around the country, learning about the history and significance of the land, but also building ongoing relationships with the indigenous community in their local area.
Activities took place in Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast. To acknowledge NAIDOC week and the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, the AIS release a video series highlighting these activities and encouraging all in the sporting community to learn more about the traditional owners of the land on which they train and compete.
At Pizzey Park on the Gold Coast, I was joined by Paddle Australia and Queensland Academy of Sport athletes to learn about the history of the traditional owners of the land, the Yugambeh people. Kelly said: “All of us can get a better understanding of our First Nations people and the spirituality and connection with the land. Reconciliation will make us a better and happier country.”