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Boigu Island Takes Part in Battle of the Islands Football Tournament

Boigu Island Takes Part in Battle of the Islands Football Tournament

  • Jul 24, 2019

On 1 August 2019, the Torres Strait “Battle of the Islands” men’s and women’s football tournament will commence, bringing together youths from across the Torres Strait Islander Communities.

Kathleen (KJ) Pabai is journeying to Thursday Island to represent Boigu Island in the women’s football tournament proudly sponsored by Nova Systems.

Belonging to the Koe Buway (big tribe) and a proud member of the Samu (emu/cassowary) clan, the 17-year-old daughter of Keith and Daisy Pabai is counting down with great anticipation to the event.

A talented and driven touch football player, KJ has been playing the game she loves since she was fourteen. With speed, skill and a competitive spirit, this indigenous female excels on the field with her natural ability and motivation to train, taking all opportunities to play in preparation for the upcoming Battle of the Islands.

Having just finished a season in a local Cairns competition, where she is studying Education at James Cook University, KJ played in Indigenous Team, Kustomz. KJ has also played in school competitions throughout high school and represented her home island of Boigu in previous tournaments.

From a sporting family, her siblings and cousins will feature in a variety of roles in the Thursday Island sporting competition in August. Representing the Boigu Island community as players and in coaching and managing capacities are her brothers Keith Jr and Nathan and sister Stephanie.

KJ impressed on the fact that the football team is her family as well, all supporting and encouraging each other.

“All my teammates are my family,” says KJ, “our positive team spirit and the way we encourage each other is what I love best about playing the game.”

A proud islander, KJ spends her leisure time playing volleyball, touch and basketball at the local facilities. Participating to keep fit, socialise and bond with her community members, KJ prioritises time with her family, engaging in other popular activities that island life offers such as boating, picnics, camping and fishing.

Fishing and hunting are very necessary skills that her and the other youths are taught from a young age, as the locals rely on these sources of food that the surrounding sea provides. Many traditional methods are still adhered to and availability of food and access depends on seasons, weather and tides.

When asked about the issue of climate change and how it has affected Boigu island, KJ said, “It scares me, that one day we might not be able to stay there. We might have to move to the mainland and then we will lose the connection to our island. Our culture will be lost.”

Nova Systems is proud to sponsor the men’s and women’s Boigu Island touch football teams in the Torres Strait Islands 2019 “Battle of the Islands” tournament. Good luck KJ and to her teammates!

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