Skip to main content

Gurrung Sports Carnival ready for lift-off

12 August 2014

The Minjilang Eagles (in blue and white) compete in the ruck against St John’s in the 2013 Gurrung Sports Carnival.  The Minjilang Eagles (in blue and white) compete in the ruck against St John’s in the 2013 Gurrung Sports Carnival. 

The 2014 Gurrung Sports Carnival will be held in Jabiru – against the backdrop of the magnificent Kakadu National Park – on 5 and 6 September 2014.

West Arnhem Regional Council Youth, Sport and Recreation Coordinator Ian Douglass says Gurrung is the pre-eminent premier sporting event on the West Arnhem sporting calendar.

“Since its beginnings in 2010, Gurrung has built its reputation on drawing footy and basketball teams from far and wide, displaying some of the greatest up-and-coming raw talent in the Top End,” Douglass said.

“This year, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s AFL teams will flock to Jabiru from communities including Maningrida, Warruwi, Pine Creek, Daly River and Gunbalanya.”

Last year’s AFL champions hail from Minjilang, a remote community on Croker Island with a population at the last census of just over 300.

“The Minjilang Tigers – last year known as the Minjilang Eagles – are well into their training regime and will be fiercely defending their title,” Douglass said.

“We have already had a few early team nominations, with three local women’s and two local men’s basketball teams signing up.”

Formerly known as the West Arnhem Sports Carnival, Gurrung is run in conjunction with the Mahbilil Festival, a vibrant one-day community event that brings together music, arts and culture from the Mirarr people and across the Top End.

Hosted by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation on Saturday 6 September, Mahbilil celebrates cultural diversity, bringing together local Aboriginal and balanda (non-Aboriginal Australian) arts and crafts, food stalls, entertainment, parades, market stalls and installations.

“With its focus on 16- to 25-year-olds, Gurrung Sports Carnival brings in an extra 300-400 people to the Mahbilil Festival to create an extravaganza of sports, art and culture, right here in the heart of Kakadu,” Douglass said.

Gurrung Sports Carnival registration forms are available for download from the West Arnhem Regional Council website at or contact Ian Douglass on 8979 9444 or email

West Arnhem Regional Council provides a range of programs and services to residents of West Arnhem communities, including youth-focused sport and recreation activities like the Gurrung Sports Carnival.