It’s the home of many of the AFL’s most talented Aboriginal footballers, and yet the Northern Territory remains the only state in Australia to not house an elite training facility. That could soon change, however, with plans underway for a new facility, The Michael Long NT Thunder Learning and Leadership Centre that will focus on the sports training and development of the Territory’s young Indigenous talent. Another objective of the centre is to keep Aboriginal students in school.
The proposed centre would be located at TIO Stadium (Marrara Oval). “We are struggling to keep Indigenous kids in school, yet education is everything! Without education we will never be able to address the issues our communities face,” said Michael Long. “The Learning and Leadership Centre is a dream, and it will be a place where our young Indigenous kids can come to learn in a safe, modern environment, but where they will also be immersed in footy, as it is our love of our national sport that unites us all.”