Hobart-based Karadi Aboriginal Corporation has held its inaugural touch football carnival after a three-year community event absence due to COVID-19.

Karadi is the sole Tasmanian licensee of Deadly Choices, a health promotion initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

Palawa woman and Karadi’s Deadly Choices project officer Hollie French said the event was designed to introduce young people to a new sport whilst providing an opportunity for First Nations people to connect to community support services and organisations.

“The aim of the day was to get the community involved in touch football and get them being active but also promote healthy lifestyles and get the (Indigenous) community

Teams participated in a knockout touch football tournament on the day.

connected with other organisations in the area,” she said.

Teams of young people aged 12-18 participated in a knockout-style fixture with a winning team crowned at the competition’s end.

While the touch football competition was held more than 20 community organisations offered their services to the substantial crowd.

“There was an estimated 250 community members present throughout the day which was a pretty big turnout, especially for our first event in quite some time,” Ms French said.

“We had a wider range of services (in attendance) such as Libraries Tasmania, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service, Beyond

A wide variety of community support services and organisations were in attendance.

Blue, the Red Cross, Tackling Indigenous Smoking, the Cancer Council, Headspace, quite a broad range.”

Ms French said the response from the community on the day was overwhelmingly positive.

“We had really good feedback from the entire community,” she said.

“Lots of people who were there on the day who didn’t play were actually like, oh, damn, I wish I’d signed up to a team, I can’t wait for next year to give it a go and things like that.

“We had people on the day who were interested and they just jumped on a team and were able to give it a go and try out touch for the first time.”

Ex-Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and Wests Tigers halfback Scott Prince was also in attendance.

Leisure activities such as balloon animals, face painting, a silent disco and spray paint workshops were also held.

Prince is Deadly Choices’ brand ambassador and was warmly received by the local community.

“It was great to see him interacting with the community, just asking him questions and alike,” Ms French said.

“He also was coaching one of our teams on the day helping them through the contest and giving them tips and pointers and things like that, which was pretty cool.”

Karadi’s Deadly Choices programs are offered statewide to encourage healthy lifestyle choices in the Indigenous community.

In addition to the annual touch football and community day, Karadi’s Deadly Choices

Attendees at Sunday’s community day braved the cold weather in traditional attire.

initiatives include a t-shirt incentive program for 715 health checks, a school based education and physical activity program and a variety of community events, all which are offered statewide.

Karadi hopes to make its touch football carnival an annual event while also expanding Deadly Choices sporting carnivals to offer different sports in the future.

The carnival and community day was held at Clarence’s Wentworth Park.