Students from Playford International College have been busy showcasing their creative skills, after a group of eight Aboriginal students took to the challenge of developing two trophies to be presented to the women’s and men’s winners of the 2023 City of Playford Tennis International.
This will be the fourth time that Playford International College has been involved with the trophies for the international event, taking the next step from painting the winner’s shield to creating the trophies from scratch for the first time in 2023. The students involved in this year’s trophy making range from years 7 -11.
As part of the project, students have followed traditional Aboriginal methods of woodworking, with classmates sourcing native timber from the trees on the school grounds.
Year 7 student, Duane said that he started the project to stay better connected with his heritage.
“We are building these (trophies) from scratch. We went to the back of the oval and spent about 40 minutes carving it out of the tree,” he said.
Duane and year 9 student, Josiah are working on a beautifully crafted Kaurna shield which will be awarded to the winner of the men’s competition.
Josiah runs his hand across the pencilled-traced pattern saying that he plans to wood burn it onto the shield.
“We have included a tennis ball in the centre to represent the sport. The lines moving towards the middle are rivers coming into the meeting place,” said Josiah.
“This project not only inspires our creative side and our imaginations but also helps us to learn more about our culture.”
The winner of the women’s singles title will be awarded with an art covered coolamon (vessel). Year 11 student, Letisha says that they first had to bend itcorrectly into shape by submerging it in water and adding a weighted log on top.
“A coolamon is traditionally used to carry food and water, for rocking a baby to sleep and is also used for smoking ceremonies,” she said.
Year 10 student, Nakisha said the coolamon would need to be sanded down before the artwork could be added.
“We are still working on smoothing this out. It’s quite big now so we need to work on making it a bit smaller,” said Nakisha.
Letisha said she is excited to share her culture on the world stage.
“It’s great to have an opportunity to share my country’s art and I feel very proud to see our culture being recognised, knowing that I took part in it.”
City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said that it is wonderful to see local students sharing their culture on the platform of an international event.
“Council is grateful for the time and knowledge that the students at Playford International College have devoted into making the trophies,” said Mayor Docherty.
“These are trophies that are made with pride and care and will serve as a reminder of the culture of Aboriginal people to the tennis champions who take the trophies home.”
The trophies are to be presented to the male and female champions at this year’s finals of the City of Playford Tennis International on Sunday 29 October 2023.
The City of Playford Tennis International is part of the Australian Pro Tour, a series of professional tennis events held throughout the year to bridge upcoming players with the ATP/WTA Tour, providing an opportunity to earn significant world ranking points.
The Australian Pro Tour event, a combined men’s ATP Challenger and women’s ITF World Tennis Tour tournament will offer a total prize pool of more than AUD $200,000 and valuable world ranking points
The City of Playford Tennis International will return this year, to the Playford Tennis Centre from 22 - 29 October, where the champions of the future will again take to the court – and locals will have the chance to catch future superstars in action at this free event.
Members of the public are also encouraged to attend the Fun at the Finals family event, which is being held alongside finals day on Sunday 29 October 2022 from 10:00am until 2:00pm.
This year’s event will have plenty of fun-filled action including face painting, native animal handling, games prices, giveaways and plenty of finals tennis action.
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