Anthony • 15 mins

First Nation coach: It’s massive for these girls just to be here

posted on 6 December, 2017

By Joshua Papanikolaou (PSG Staff)


Given the opportunity just to compete at the 2017 Pacific School Games is a big thing for the 12 and under girls First Nation basketball team that played against the Northern Territory side in Adelaide today.

Every one of the students in the all-indigenous squad played hard in the 22-62 defeat to the NT team, as they continue to become more familiar with each other on the court during the 10th edition of the Games.

Three sports at these Games feature First Nation teams, with golf and netball associations around the country also putting together teams of talented indigenous student athletes to compete this week.

“Well they never gave up and that’s all we ask, is that they do their best on the court,” coach Kylie Duggan said after the game.

“It’s such a good experience for them, most of them wouldn’t get an opportunity to play basketball at this level ever so it’s a massive thing for them to even be here.

“So, they’ve only trained together twice, which was the first two days before the tournament started, so they hadn’t played together, and the girls didn’t know each other.

“It’s a challenge but they’ve done really well.”

Duggan is originally from Darwin, growing up surrounded by the sport and still plays basketball herself as a star scorer for the Tracy Village Jets in the Darwin League Women’s competition.

Last weekend she helped the Jets win their twelfth premiership in a row, before travelling to South Australia as coach of this First Nation team that her daughter Kaylani Cole is in.

“Madison and Kiana – even I can’t remember some of the last names yet – are both definitely up and coming talent, girls to watch out for,” Duggan said.

“They are enjoying it, watching all the other teams and even off the court they are bonding, it’s great for them.”

The Pacific School Games basketball competition runs through Friday.