The Korin Gamadji Institute is supporting this week’s Statewide Koori Football and Netball Carnival in Bendigo.

This year’s event will attract up to 5000 people to Epsom-Huntly Reserve on October 15 and 16, with 23 football teams, 43 netball teams and 2 women’s AFL 9s sides set to compete across the two days.

Registration opens at 6.30am on Saturday, with matches starting at 8am and the official Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony beginning at 1pm.

The action resumes at 8am on Sunday, with grand finals to be held at 12.30pm (football division 2), 2pm (football division 1 and netball division 2), 2.30pm (netball division 2) and 3pm (netball division 1).

This year marks the second year in-a-row the event is being hosted by Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative, in conjunction with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.

The theme for the carnival is Murrun Dhelk, which means “living good health” in the Jarra language, and it promotes healthy active lifestyles to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Key messages include the importance of regular eye health checks and managing diabetes, and the benefits of drinking water instead of sports and soft drinks.

The weekend is also set to feature a variety of cultural and family-friendly activities including Indigenous hip hop dancing and DJs, Specky Dreaming and Net Set Go clinics, Ultimate Frisbee, food and health promotion stalls, face painting and performances from the Australian Defence Force Band.

Earlier this month, the KGI welcomed former Richmond player, Phil Egan, to its staff as NAIDOC Coordinator.

Egan’s role supports the new partnership between the KGI, VicHealth and the Victorian NAIDOC Football and Netball Committee.

The partnership involves delivering this weekend’s carnival.

Egan played 125 games for the Tigers from 1982-1989, and now manages Binmada, a consultancy for Education, Organisation and Community Development.