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Souths Cares Attend Bennelong Cup

The fifth annual Bennelong Cup Touch Football Tournament was hosted on Friday in wet conditions at Randwick Army Barracks, with this year’s event setting a record for the number of teams and participants despite the rain.

The initiative was first launched in 2018 as a way to link Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students and young people with employment and apprenticeship opportunities across a diverse range of industries.

This year’s Bennelong Cup included 18 teams, with each team’s jersey representing an influential Aboriginal warrior or community leader. The Souths Cares team had the honour of representing Pemulwuy who was an Aboriginal man of Eora descent, born around 1750 in Botany Bay.

The Souths Cares team included students from multiple programs including the Liverpool Opportunity Hub, Rabbitohs SEDA College and the Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) Program as well as staff from the Barranggirra Program and Liverpool Opportunity Hub.

The Souths Cares team had a great tournament; progressing through the group stages and winning their Quarter Final match. The team then had a nail-biting 5-6 loss in the Semi-Final to the Bennelong Team, who were the eventual tournament winners and deserving champions.

Tyronne Tsagalias is in Year 11 at Aschcroft High School and represented the Souths Cares team in the Bennelong Cup.

“We were disappointed to lose in the Semi-Final but I was proud of how we came together and played as a team. Overall, the Bennelong Cup and function was an amazing experience and I hope I get the call up again next year”, Tyronne said.

The Touch Football Tournament was followed by a corporate luncheon at Souths Juniors, with 350 guests enjoying the entertainment which included a Welcome to Country from Aunty Barb Simms, traditional and contemporary dance performances by Brolga Dance Company as well as Q&A’s with former NRL stars.

The corporate luncheon was a great opportunity to showcase the work of Souths Cares, as well as build partnerships with large-scale employers offering a host of traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities.

The concept for the event was developed by Gaven Sheehan from Bennelong Energy Services who was proud of the growth in participation and outcomes being achieved.

“From 60 players and guests at our very first Cup to now having close to 350 players and guests, we are so proud to be part of a day that gives young Indigenous school leavers the chance to rub shoulders with major global companies and their CEO’s.

To date, the Bennelong Cup has provided over 50 apprenticeships and traineeships, with the goal to double this in the next 12 to 18 months”, Gaven said.

To cap off a fantastic day, one of Souths Cares Liverpool Opportunity Hub students, Gyndaay Lee Croft was awarded a scholarship to help launch her apprenticeship after successfully completing her HSC last year.

Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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