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Ten year anniversary event of the Kurrung Sports Carnival

12 September 2019

The 10 year anniversary event of the Kurrung Sports Carnival was everything it promised to be with cheers of joy, cries of triumph and an overwhelming sense of community spirit throughout the entire event on August 30 and 31.
Hosted by West Arnhem Regional Council, Kurrung is the largest regional sports event in the region, bringing communities together in friendly competition.
14 teams competed across the men’s AFL and men’s and women’s basketball over two huge days in Jabiru, with participants representing Jabiru, NORFORCE in Darwin, Gunbalanya, Minjilang, Warruwi, Maningrida and Beswick.

In the hotly-contested basketball competitions, it was the two Warruwi teams which dominated the courts to take out both the men’s and women’s tournaments, demonstrating there is plenty of talent hailing from the small island communities.
In an incredible reign, the women’s Warruwi Mardbalk Serpents took out the grand final game against Maningrida to make it their seventh consecutive win, and when it came to the men’s basketball, Warruwi Storm came out on top in a battle against their fellow island team, Minjilang. 
In what was an emotional and inspiring tournament on the Saturday, the Gunbalanya team took out the men’s AFL grand final match to the delight of players, their families and supporters who could not hide their excitement.

On their home turf, the Jabiru Bombers fought their way through each round to make it in the top two teams. Despite their best efforts, Gunbalanya were the best team on the day winning their first grand final win in a long time at Kurrung. The celebrations continued well into the night as the team made their way back home with the winning trophy to be greeted by their proud families and friends across the river.    
The Bombers can hold their heads high. They displayed true sportsmanship in congratulating the winners and look forward to a positive season ahead.

This year’s 10 year anniversary event was proudly partnered with the No More Campaign and TEABBA Radio, and for the first time the event opened with a 3x3 social basketball game run by Deola D’Brown which was a great hit. Also running alongside Kurrung was the Mahbilil Festival and the Kakadu Deadly Runners hosted the inaugural Warrior Run.
Organisers wish to thank all the official trophy presenters including Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo MLA,  Member for Arafura Lawrence Costa MLA, WARC Mayor Matthew Ryan, Deputy Mayor Anna Egerton and Elected Members. 
A huge thanks must go to the sponsors; Northern Territory Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Kakadu Lodge, ERA, Crocodile Hotel, No More Violence Campaign, Jabiru Area School, Boots For All, Puma Jabiru, Gunbalanya Meats, TEABBA Radio, Intersport, Jabiru Foodland, Jabiru Sports and Social Club, TEAM Health, Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club, Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, MPA, ALPA, Arujumu, Adjumarllarl Store, AFL NT and GREATS Youth Service.
See you all next year at the 2020 Kurrung Sports Carnival!
All photos feature on Facebook!


Defending champions, Mardbalk Serpents reigned supreme with the seventh consecutive win in the women's basketball. The island team showed their curtsied prowess winning every game in the round robins and then grabbing a powerful win in the grand final against Maningrida. 
Maningrida who travelled for five hours on dirt roads to compete, provided some spectacular plays in the nail-biting game. In the end it was Warruwi's experience along with some thrilling offensive plays that saw the Serpents claim victory in the grand final match with a score Warruwi - 25 to Maningrida 6.
All teams provided terrific plays on the day, with Jabiru, Minjilang, Maningrida and Warruwi competing throughout the hot day in round robin competitions at the Jabiru school courts preceded by a friendly tournament on the Friday night. A special appearance by Healthy Harold all the way from Katherine provided some exciting match entertainment as well.


It was a tense evening of basketball at the Jabiru Courts on the Friday as five teams battled it out in the men’s basketball tournament which was the official opener event of the Kurrung Sports Carnival.  A new arrival to the competition, Norforce made their debut with two early wins in the competition, narrowly missing out as the finals drew closer after losing to Warruwi and Minjilang in their last two games.  
It was down to the two islands for the grand final and the two teams of Minjilang and Warruwi did not disappoint with a thrilling finale that had the crowds roaring.
Match referee Deola D'Brown from Darwin, officiated the competition as Warruwi dominated their way through the nerve-wracking 10 minute halves under lights.  
For the second consecutive year, Warruwi were undefeated, with a fantastic victory against Minjilang. The final score: Minjilang 10, Warruwi 26.
Speaking to the crowd, Warruwi captain expressed gratitude to all involved in making the competition.


The AFL competition was full of action and surprises this year.In the end it came down to goal difference which saw Gunbalanya and Jabiru face off in the grand final match.  
This year also saw the new entry of Beswick into the competition. While the team didn't make the finals rounds, they showed fantastic enthusiasm.
This was the first time in the last six years of Kurrung competition that Minjilang was not in a final, narrowly missing out with Maningrida claiming third place in the ladder.  
This year Gunbalanya was hard to beat. Match after match, the Gunbalanya boys displayed an unbeatable spirit, team work and strategic plays as they surged upwards on the competition ladder. 
Event organisers said, "It's hard to believe that two years ago, Gunbalanya was at the bottom of the ladder. Then last year, they rose to the top two on the ladder and ended the tournament as runners up to Minjilang. This year, they put in every effort down to the final whistle to claim victory against Jabiru and take home the championship trophy. This shows true determination. They played their heart out all day and in a twist of irony, the only match they lost during the round robins competition was to the Jabiru Bombers!”
Jabiru showed their strong experience as finalists on home turf and displayed solid techniques and all-round sportsmanship throughout the day. In the end Gunbalanya were just too tough to beat with a spectacular 2.3 (15) to 1.2 (8) win. 
Gunbalanya team and supporters were ecstatic with the victory with cheers, backflips and dancing all through the presentation. By all accounts, celebrations continued well into the night in Gunbalanya with families and friends.