VIDEO: Andrew on indigenous pride and passion of Capras
VETERAN Andrew Dale stands proudly in the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras' indigenous-inspired jersey.
It is a momentus occasion.
As NAIDOC Week reaches an end, Dale will take the opportunity to represent not only the region, but his own indigenous heritage when he turned out for the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras last weekend.
The Capras donned specially-designed jerseys for the Intrust Super Cup Round 19 clash with Wynnum Manly Seagulls at North Stradbroke Island.
Organised by the Seagulls, the weekend's match is part of an Indigenous Reconnection round.
An initiative of Central Queensland Indigenous Development's Justin Loomans and Capras operations manager Walson Carlos, the jerseys were designed by former Capras squad member and current Norths Chargers star James Waterton - a good friend of Dale's. "It is special mate. Wato was actually one of my groomsmen and I grew up with him playing footy," Dale said.
"It's an honour to wear them as a Capras player, as an Aboriginal and as a good mate of Wato.
"To have a mate that's actually designed our jerseys, I'm proud to be wearing them and to show that off for him."
A part-time Aboriginal artist, who learnt the skills from his father, Waterton has incorporated the Capras colours and the values of team and family into the Aboriginal symbols used in the design.
Dale, who returned to the Capras in 2014 after a couple of years' hiatus, said it was always an honour to represent the region.
"It has been a tough year for us, but each game they hand me the jersey and I'm proud to play for the region and the Capras," he said.
"Being born and bred here, you grow an extra set of legs (when you play for the Capras) and I know I try and give my all. Being NAIDOC week round, it'll give me more incentive to run harder, tackle harder and play better."
Loomans said when he was approached about supporting the initiative, he didn't hesitate.
"It's going to be a fantastic round. It's a great initiative and Central Queensland Indigenous Development are very happy to be involved," he said. "The relationship with the Capras has always been strong."