Press Release – February 2018
The Parkdale Gift intends to assist two Indigenous sprinters from ‘The Kimberley’ Community of Mowanjum – an indigenous community on the out skirts of Derby, in far North Western Australia to run at both the Parkdale Gift on March 24 2018 and the following week at the world famous Stawell Gift over distance ranging from 70m – 120m.
A key aspect of this program is also to raise funds for logistics and establish a base funding for this to become an annual event. The local community within Bayside have banded together and provided nearly $3,000 worth of prizes with the winners drawn just before but announced at the Parkdale Gift on Saturday March 24.
Tickets can be bought on line via a link from RAFFLE website
History – Indigenous Winners of the Stawell Gift
There is a long history of successful Aboriginal runners in the Stawell Gift from Robert Kinnear, the first Aboriginal runner to win the Stawell Gift in 1883 through to champions like Tom Dancey, an Aboriginal stockman and boundary rider won Australia’s most famous footrace in 1910. Lynch Cooper, a Yorta Yorta man, was born in the early 1905 at Moira Lake near Tocumwal and was educated at Mulwala State School. Cooper was the first Aboriginal sprinter to win the World’s Sprint Championship. He won the Stawell Gift in 1928 and Josh Ross the two times winner of the gift in 2003 and 2005.
Lynch Cooper – Stawell Gift Winer 1928
Former professional runners Scott Grigg (now a Director with The Clontarf Foundation in Goonawindi and previously in Northern Western Australia) and Parkdale Gift organiser Tim Mason are joining forces to engage with the Indigenous communities in Northern Western Australia and through the Parkdale and Stawell Gifts, provide an opportunity to two young Indigenous men to both experience these iconic events and showcase their natural abilities of speed for which the Indigenous people are renown.
- To develop skill sets, utilise technology and provide tangible and measurable outcomes.
- Utilise the discipline required for sports at the top level to help achieve this.
- To show case Indigenous talent and promote both the Parkdale and Stawell Gift.
- To potentially unearth new and untapped Indigenous talent and make a difference
- To align with the philosophies of The Clontarf Foundation that exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem, employment prospects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and by doing so equips them to participate meaningfully in society.
Solomon Puemorra 16 and Deqwayne Puemorra 18 are from ‘The Kimberley’ communities of Mowanjum – an indigenous community on the out skirts of Derby, in far North Western Australia and bring with them the speed that the Indigenous are renowned for.
Corporate support in particular from individuals, Paul Ferguson, Dean Capobianco (the last Western Australian to win the Stawell Gift in 1990 – ironically defeating Tim Mason in the final) and Councillor Geoff Gledhill the City of Kingston and the Moorabbin Airport Corporation has allowed this vision to become reality.
The program will be documented and filmed from the very beginning of their journey up in ‘The Kimberley’, including the training regime and culminating in their first start at The Parkdale Gift and their participation in Australia’s world famous Stawell Gift. It is planned that this will be supported by a trip to the Kimberly’s to fine tune their training prior to arrival.
Other significant support from Samsung have provided tablets to allow for remote training and advice, Telstra, Coles, Athletes Foot, M Health and Nike for support when they arrive locally.
Local Indigenous involvement
The Parkdale local Indigenous community plans to support Solomon and Deqwayne through their stay at Parkdale and their journey to Stawell.
For further Information contact:
Tim Mason – President Parkdale Gift 0456 985 201
Scott Grigg – 0412 684 376