22 May 2024

Torres Strait, NPA students battle for Crusader Cup glory

| Lyndon Keane
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The Outer Islands Wasps, made up of Tagai State College students from Horn, Saibai, Badu, and Mer islands, pose for a team photo before going on to claim runner-up honours in the 2024 Crusader Cup. Photo: Supplied.

Seventy-two students from eight schools across Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) put on one stunning combined performance when they battled for annual AFL Cape York Crusader Cup bragging rights on 10 May.

Players converged on Thursday Island’s Ken Brown Oval for the showdown, which is used as the selection carnival to form the Cape York Torres Strait Crusaders team which will contest the state school sports championships at the end of the month.

AFL Cape York game development co-ordinator Keiran Sciberras described the event as “great football, tremendous sportsmanship and a lot of fun”.

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“The players are awesome,” he said.

“They’re really, really good, and that raw talent is on show as they develop their game skills.

“[The Crusader Cup] is a very important part of what we do; it’s one of the only forms of interschool sport they may get to experience with their schools being so far apart.”

In a bumper day of on-field action, the Red Bandits claimed victory, with the Wasps crowned runner-up.

The Dockers team from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Thursday Island. Photo: Supplied.

Crusader Cup teams
Outer Islands Wasps: Tagai State College (Horn, Saibai, Badu, Mer islands); Red Bandits: Tagai State College (Thursday Island, Horn Island); NPA Crows: NPA State College (Bamaga, Injinoo); Dockers: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Thursday Island); One Speed: Tagai State College (Thursday Island).

Player of the Day winners
Outer Islands Wasps: Zazwood Banu; Red Bandits: James Seden; NPA Crows: Azaydra Poi Poi; Dockers: Brae Wylie; One Speed: Rosanna Solomon.

AFL Cape York Most Valuable Players
Girl: Yancy Billy; boy: Ezra Gaibri.

Students from Northern Peninsula Area State College’s Bamaga and Injinoo campuses show off their NPA Crows jerseys at Ken Brown Oval on Thursday Island. Photo: Supplied.

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