Ron Gibbs and Steve ‘Bear’ Hall are great mates.
Tomorrow night, the NSW Kooris take on the Queensland Murris in an under-16s interstate battle at Mudgee for the Steve ‘Bear’ Hall Shield.
Ron Gibbs is coach of the NSW side.
Not that he needs any extra incentive for his side to win the game. In fact, a victory will only be the icing on the cake for Gibbs should the players have a strong week, enjoy themselves, play well and most importantly, develop as players.
Gibbs coaching the team that wins the Steve ‘Bear’ Hall Shield would be fitting for two proud Indigenous men that have put in countless time and effort to the Talented Aboriginal Athlete Pathway Camp (TAAP), which is where the players from this team were selected from.
‘Bear’ established the TAAP program 15 years ago while Gibbs has been behind it for a long time. It has seen success stories such as James Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr emerge.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids involved and I’m really looking forward to coaching them,” Gibbs said, who was assistant coach of the side way back in 2003.
“There’s a lot of talent in this team and I’m confident that we’ll give a good account of ourselves against the Queensland Under-16 Murri team.”
“I want to win but for the boys I just want them to play well and enjoy themselves.
"We've had a great week in camp, it's been hard work but I'm hoping that will bring the best out of them for the match."
Cody Walker generously gave up his time to present the NSW Koori Under-16s with their jerseys tonight.
Walker recently captained the Indigenous All-Stars to victory, to which he said that being named to lead the team was one of the proudest moments of his career.
"It's a pretty surreal moment. I've watched every one since it's been on," Walker said before the game.
"Just the sense of pride you get and the excitement when you see the boys run out, you get goosebumps and you just want to be out there playing.”
"I still remember the night that the All Stars played. We were in a little apartment on the Gold Coast just watching it on TV," he said.
"Just the sense of pride I got watching the boys run out and play for their culture, it's amazing.