• “The decathlon is about putting these men through a grilling set of tests," said Dr Tim White. (Kapani Warrior )Source: Kapani Warrior
First Nations men from five different communities across Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria will compete for the title of 'toughest' Far North Queensland community.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
31 May 2019 - 7:05 AM  UPDATED 31 May 2019 - 7:05 AM

A new endurance event will be held in the Far North Queensland Aboriginal community of Aurukun for the first time in July.

The Kapani Warrior Cup will test the strength, skills and teamwork of men from five different communities across Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria to determine the community with the "toughest" men.

The event evolved from the Kapani Warrior program, an initiative to help young men better understand issues around anger.

The program is lead by army veterans and puts the young men through an intensive four-month process of behaviour modification techniques where they learn to develop personal resilience.

The program was initially a response to the high rates of domestic violence in Indigenous communities, with the scheme seeking to work with young men who have a violent history or have been direct perpetrators to domestic violence.

All men competing in the cup at Aurukun are graduates of the program and Kapani Warrior director, Dr Tim White, said one of the goals of the cup was to further enhance the skills of local men so they are eligible to seek employment in the defence forces.

“The job network is narrow… so it’s important for communities to say ‘hey we are the best and we are most marketable, the most employable’,” Dr White said.

The cup includes 10 events that will push the men’s endurance to the limit, said Dr White and will involve challenges like strenuous obstacle courses, mud crawls, tool-less tyre changes and spear throwing. 

“The decathlon is about putting these men through a gruelling set of tests to see which men or which community can say they are the toughest bushmen in Australia,” Dr White told NITV News.

Each of the five communities of Aurukun, Doomadgee, Kowanyama, Yarrabah and Wujal Wujal will field a team of six men.

Indigenous actor and activist Alec Doomadgee from the Far North Queensland community of Doomadgee, said the cup is a great initiative to endow young men with traditional values that they will then utilise in a modern world.

“It goes back to that old ancient tradition of being able to be the hunter, that strong man… someone that can provide for his wife and kids and be able to hunt and come home with more gain,” he said.

“To be able to say you are the strongest man... from your community means that you are a very, very capable hunter for your mob.”

Twenty-one-years old Jayden Marrott, from Aurukun, told NITV News he is determined to win the title of the toughest community. 

“I know all of us Indigenous people are tough in our own way," he said. "Me and my boys will give it a go, give it our best."

Mr Marrott said there is often little in remote communities to keep young men entertained which can leads them to substance abuse and addiction.

“I reckon something like [the cup] will keep them healthy…  it would be good for their mindset…to become better mentally, spiritually and physically,” he said.    

Mr Marrott said he wants the win not just for himself, but so his younger brother can finally win over a girl that he has been attempting to impress.

“If he shows off his muscles, his legs and everything, I reckon he would get her,” said Mr Marrott.

Homelessness, domestic violence to blame for high incarceration rates of women
Legal experts are calling for Indigenous-led solutions to combat high incarceration rates of women and mothers, following a report by the ABC's Four Corners.
AFL Indigenous Games record at arm's reach for Hawks star
At 35, Shaun Burgoyne isn’t letting age stop him from signing onto his 18th season in the spotlight.
Funding boost to combat domestic violence
Indigenous community organisations will receive $25 million in federal funds to help combat domestic violence, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has announced.