Camden Tigers first in NSW to partner with Indigenous Football Program

The Camden Tigers have joined forces with the Indigenous Football Program to support the region's up-and-coming players. Picture: Supplied

The Camden Tigers have joined forces with the Indigenous Football Program to support the region's up-and-coming players. Picture: Supplied

The Camden Tigers have joined forces with the Indigenous Football Program (IFP) to provide up-and-coming Indigenous players with more opportunities to play soccer.

The Tigers are the first club in NSW to partner with the program.

Tigers secretary Nancy Noble said the partnership came about after IFP patron Warren Morrison put Tigers president Rod Ciantar in touch with Uncle Phil Dotti.

"The partnership entails the Indigenous Football Program coming together in unison with Camden Tigers Football Club to aid in bringing our community closer together," she said.

"It is hoped that in the future we will be able to provide opportunities via scholarship for our Indigenous players to play at an NPL level at Camden Tigers.

"Once Uncle Phil and Rod began speaking, the ideas that were put forward for this partnership were endless. We met as a committee and discussed the ideas that were put forward and began to look at how we could make these ideas a reality."

Ciantar said there would be even greater opportunities for all Tigers players as a result of the partnership.

"The vision was to start with Dharawal Cup - Festival of Football and then to eventually be able to offer scholarships for Indigenous players within out community to play in our Camden Tigers NPL team," he said.

"With Camden Tigers being the only club in the Macarthur region who are able to offer both men and women the opportunity to play in NPL, development squad and local sides. It is hoped that this will encourage more players to come to Camden and take their football to the next level."

Dotti said the goal of the IFP was to provide an opportunity for Indigenous children to have a pathway to play elite football.

"The Tigers are very professional in their whole setup," he said.

"The IFP values the Tiger's partnership, we put our cards on the table, they listened and we moved forward together.

"For far too long in football history, Indigenous kids have been overlooked. Indigenous kids will be able to feel they are wanted and respected. Sport can certainly play a positive role in any kids life. "

Noble said it was a great opportunity for Camden Tigers and for the Indigenous Football Program to aid in developing all players to make the Tigers greater than it already is.

"We want the community to see that our arms are open to everyone," she said.

"We were also hoping to provide more diversity within our community by uniting as one. This would effectively hopefully encourage other young players from our community to come forward and demonstrate their skills in a safe and welcoming environment.

"It's important for all clubs to provide pathways for kids from all backgrounds and walks of life to enjoy and play football, because for many, it's an outlet. We are a community and a soccer family.

"All children should have the opportunity to develop their skills and grow, regardless of where they've come from or regardless of what their past journey has been."

This story Camden Tigers first in NSW to partner with Indigenous Football Program first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.