This year has been a massive year in sport, from annual Indigenous rounds to Tokyo playing host to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Blak talent also shone throughout 2021, with massive achievements from Ash Barty, Patty Mills, to Cody Walker and Hannah Darlington.

The new year will be brought in by The Big Bash League’s First Nations Round which will be held from January 8-14.

Wiradjuri man Dan Christian from the Sydney Sixers has said that he believes initiatives like the First Nations Round are important symbols of progress.

“I think it’s great we’re on the right track and we’re having it now, he said.

“Everyone is having the conversation and wanting to learn more about our culture and the land we’re playing on.

“Being a part of the Sixers and being able to wear an Indigenous shirt, the whole family will be proud.”

There are four other Indigenous players in the BBL – Scott Boland and D’Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes), Josh Lalor (Melbourne Renegades) and Brendan Doggett (Sydney Thunder).

The NRL Indigenous All stars Round will kick off in February with the Australian Indigenous side taking on the Māori side.

Both the women and men will play on the 12th of February for the first time in Sydney since the rounds inception.

The St George Illawarra Dragons have also revealed the winner of the 2022 Indigenous jersey competition.

Joanne Niki won the competition with artwork titled ‘Commitment.’ Niki is a proud Torres Strait Islander from Saibai in the Torres Strait.

The Dragons will wear their jersey twice in 2022, in both the Indigenous Round against the Bulldogs and in Round 15 against the Rabbitohs.

The AFL have continued to improve their commitment to the Indigenous culture, player and community.

The Western Bulldogs have appointed Kirby Bentley as their new VFLW coach, making her the first Indigenous coach for the side.

The Noongar woman said she is excited and she thinks “it’s going to be a great new look for the club and what we are trying to do in making our AFLW and VFLW programs more aligned.”

“Having that consistency is great not only for our AFLW players coming through VFLW, but also for our VFLW players who are wanting to take that next step and learn as much as they can about football in an elite environment,” she said.

“I’m big on developing girls and making sure they understand the football lingo and are confident and comfortable enough to be able to ask questions.”

The AFL have also released that Pride Round will be held in round three and the Indigenous Round will be held in round eight.

All eyes will be on World number one Ash Barty throughout January, with the WTA 500 and ATP 250 tournament comes to Sydney Olympic Park from January 9 to 15.

Nineteen of the world’s top 24 women are set compete in the tournament deemed as a warm up for the Australian Open.

The NBA season will continue through the new year, with Patty Mills continuing to step up his game.

However the ones to watch are much closer to home, with two boys from Redfern becoming stars in the NBL.

 

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Wiradjuri/ Gamilaroi man William Hickey has been hitting new heights with Melbourne United and Biwali Bayles representing close to home with the Sydney Kings.

By Teisha Cloos