More than $2000 dollars was raised for local football umpires last weekend, as competitive footy returned at the pre-season Umpires Carnival.
The Big Rivers Football League Umpires Carnival featured Katherine teams, as well as sides from Indigenous communities from as far as the Tiwi Islands, who battled it out on a hot Saturday at Nitmiluk Oval.
AFLNT Regional Development Manager for Katherine Gavin May said the tournament was a successful fundraiser, as well as a success on the field.
He said an expected $2500 was raised to cover "incidental costs" for local umpires, who are preparing to officiate the upcoming Big Rivers Football League Season.
Katherine Umpires Association vice president Tracey Robinson said the money will go towards developing young umpires and paying for the equipment they need throughout the season.
The cash will also help subsidise any travel costs for umpires selected to officiate national championships interstate.
"It's usually for development or towards uniforms, first aid kits," she said.
"And if any of the young ones get selected to go interstate... they need to pay for their travel."
Ms Robinson said the Umpires Carnival was a chance for young officials to have a go at umpiring senior football, with 26 men and women's matches played on Saturday.
She said the local league currently has 15 umpires, but "a lot more" are needed to cover every game this year, as the Big Rivers League is set to expand with more clubs and players in 2021.
"The more the merrier."
On the field, the action was fast paced all day, as clubs battled it out in shortened games with two 12 minute halves.
The women's competition featured the Tiwi Bombers, who are pushing to have their women's team included in the premier AFLNT competition later this year.
The Bombers dominated all day despite travelling a huge distance to Katherine, and capped off their strong performances with an impressive 59 to 0 win over Ngukurr in the Grand Final.
Meanwhile, in the men's competition, Katherine club Garrak Bombers overcame a slow start in their first game to win the tournament after a dominant Grand Final display of their own.
Garrak lost their first game 18 to 3 against Ngukurr, before stringing some wins together, which led to a 29 to 7 win over Northern Walpiri in the Grand Final.
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