For sports fans and non-sports fans alike, everybody loves a incredible story of achievement. Over the past weekend, we were treated to numerous. In particular, the achievements of Indigenous atheletes representing Australia, co-inciding with NAIDOC week, need to be highlighted.
At home, the some of the best country-footballers in the state represented their regions at the SA country football championships at Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay. This marked the competition's return after a 2020 hiatus. Congratulations to the Northern zone women's team who took home the cup. In the men's competition, the 2019 winners, Central zone took home the second place prize after being bested by the hosts, Southern Districts.
With the northern hemisphere summer under way, emerging from the dark cloud of global pandemic, international sport has also returned. The success of Indigenous athletes internationally during NAIDOC week started with Ash Barty becoming the first Australian woman to take the Wimbledon crown since Yvonne Goolagong Cawley, another indigenous athlete, and Barty's childhood idol.
In contrast to the heritage and tradition of Wimbledon, Australia was also represented in the cage at UFC 264 in Las Vegas. It was a homecoming card, the first in front of a full crowd in the UFCs hometown, marked with the return of combat sports' biggest name, Conor McGregor. During the main card, Indigenous Australian, Tai Tuivasa earned a round 1 knockout against former NFL footballer Greg Hardy. His celebration was equally memorable. A heavyweight showdown is thirsty work, and the large man sat atop the cage post-knockout, refreshing himself with a beer.... drank from a shoe.
In the preparation for the games in Tokyo, Australia's basketball representatives, The Boomers faced Argentina where another indigenous athlete stole the show. Patty Mills spectacularly landed a buzzer beating 3-pointer. This comes less than a month before he is due to carry the flag for Australia at the games in Tokyo. Australia's basketball team has the potential to enter a golden-era thanks to the quality of Aussie players competing at the top-tier, in the NBA.
Overall, a storybook tale for many competitors over the weekend, a treat for us, the lucky spectators.