More than a game, Highlanders Indigenous Sports Club historic win

Date: 09 February 2022

The Highlanders Indigenous Sports Club Inc. has set its sights on more championship wins in 2022 after taking out the Men’s Grand Final at this year’s Toowoomba Reconciliation Carnival — attending the ‘Knock-out’ competition after a $2,000 Stanmore Resources Isaac Plains Community Grant was received last year.

The club, which has been in operation for more than 15 years and originally started as a women’s team, secured its first men’s premiership, defeating a New South Wales team 30-6.  

Club President Jade Smith said the community grant contributed to helping players and coaches attend the much-anticipated carnival.

“Every year we attend 4-5 carnivals and welcome between 75 and 100 players competing at different competitions — the community grant was a huge help to ease the minds of coordinators, and help cut the costs for our players and coaches,” he said.

“For our members, it’s about a whole lot more than just turning up for a footy game. We have culture and comradery that’s pretty special and we want all our players’ mental and physical health to be strong. We help our players in whatever way we can through providing a safe space to talk freely, find support and enjoy a game with their mates.”

While many players had to travel home after the game, a few of the team celebrated by watching the livestream back and letting their historic men’s club win sink in.

“It was a great start to 2022 after a hard couple of years throughout the pandemic, and our teams are looking forward to attending the Rockhampton Reconciliation Carnival in March where our women will defend their 2021 title and the men hope to do one better from third place and make the grand final,” said Jade. “The grant has been a huge help to our club. We’d like to thank Stanmore for its ongoing support to what we’re trying to create within our team and community. Without sponsorship, we wouldn’t be able to attend these carnivals or provide our players with an outreach of support programs.”