Club of elite-level greats marks round with pride
The Brookton-Pingelly Panthers wore custom indigenous guernseys with pride on Sunday as they hosted the Upper Great Southern’s first indigenous round at the Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre.
New South Wales-based artist Dean Loadsman designed the guernseys, worn by the Panthers’ league side as they smashed Williams in front of an appreciative home crowd.
Panthers president Tony Kirk said the club had a proud history of producing elite indigenous footballers, including St Kilda great Nicky Winmar, Essendon’s Leroy Jetta, Fremantle’s Roger Hayden and Fremantle and North Melbourne gun Winston Abraham.
“It means a lot (to host an indigenous round). We’ve had some really good indigenous players come out of Pingelly, go on to play AFL. Four or five have come out of Pingelly and two have come out of Brookton,” he said.
“We’re proud to recognise it, proud to recognise reconciliation and identify racism in sport — that’s what our main aim is.”
Malcolm Jetta and Kristy Jetta — wife of forward Cameron Jetta — led the club’s effort in ensuring their league side would wear the guernseys against Williams, during the same weekend as the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
“That was our main goal, to get it around the same time as the AFL,” Mrs Jetta said. “It’s some reconciliation, targets some racism, it’s good for our community.
“We want to make a stand and say to the young ones coming through ‘be proud of who you are, where you come from and our culture’.”
Malcolm Jetta said football played a big role in bringing indigenous and non-indigenous people together.
“It’s a community sport. The community comes together and I think as a whole, the community has a responsibility to ensure that reconciliation exists and that we move forward together,” he said.
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