Changing the game: A day of culture and unity

Margaret Walker, Fay Jorgensen, Gloria and Edward Shipp, Jean Millgate, Pat Powell and Joanne Carr.UNITY was the aim of the game at the Central West Elders Olympics on Thursday.

About150 people from 14 different teams flocked to Sir Neville Howse Stadiumto compete in the games.

FUN AND FRIENDSHIP: Anne Williams and Marg Thurn took part in the relay together. Photos: EMILY BENNETT

This included elders from across the Central West as well as students from James Sheahan Catholic High School and Canobolas Rural Technology High School.

COMPETITIVE SPIRIT: Jan Millgate and Fay Jorgensen were keen competitors on the day.

Aboriginal community engagement officer Jordon Moore said seniors and elders alike were engaged with the activities offered on the day.

“The competitive spirit was definitely there,” Mr Moore said.

“It’s about engaging with the community,our seniors and our elders.”

The event included traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games such as a hunting game as well as modified sports such as volleyball.

Mr Moore said elders and seniors benefited from the collaboration between high school students.

“We’re looking at preserving and sharing our stories, with students hearing them straight from elders and seniors,” he said.

“With those kids involved we’re passing onculture and respect.”

Mr Moore said the event was a good way to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

“It invites social inclusion and engagement with our elders,” he said.

“It’sa platform for that holistic sense of community, unity and partnership.

“It’s [also] about changing the perspective of the wider community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture.”

Orange Elders Social Group team member Daphne Monagan, who was a part of the winning team on the day, said her overall experience was positive.

“It was so exciting,” Ms Monagan said.

“It’s about catching up with old friends and meeting new friends.”

Mr Moore said a highlight of the day was the march with all of the teams.

“The whole point of the march wasto showcase each team and theirbanners,” he said.

“You get the feel of representing your group and town.”

The 4th annual games was designed for competitors over the age 50 years and featured age and disability-inclusive events.

Teams travelled to Orange from Parkes, Bathurst, Forbes, Cowra, Condobolin and Dubbo to compete in the games.

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