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Despite their small numbers Aborigines have produced some of Australias most famous sporting champions Names such as Catherine Freeman Evonne Goolagong-Cawley Lionel Rose Arthur Beetson and the Ella brothers have become legends Whether it be in league hockey tennis or even squash there have been great contributions made by the either Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders And its not only their successes that make their contributions to sport significant but also how they were able to make those successes under the conditions and opportunities that were available to them For every Aborigine who makes it to the top there are thousands who could have made it but never had the opportunity Many Aborigines have had to compete on uneven playing fields without a sporting chance having to overcome the hurdles of racism and poverty The first mention of an Aboriginal sportsman was in 1835 when Shinney played cricket in Hobart Town Upon his death he was beheaded and his head was sent to an Irish museum for preservation However recent agitation by Tasmanian Aborigines resulted in his remains being returned and being cremated ceremonially in 1992 Sport flourished when there was relative freedom from legislative control however so did genocide Aborigines began to need protection from the murderous impulses from the settlers Although today Aborigines dont need to worry about genocide many still are subject to course racism and on-field sledging As time went on Aborigines discovered their prowess in sport particularly in boxing football and running It gave them a passport to the white mans world giving them respect and friendship Cathy Freeman is probably the most distinguished Aboriginal sports person of all time At the age of sixteen she won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games as part of the 4x100m relay team In 1992 she became the first Aboriginal track and field athlete to represent Australia at an Olympic Games In 1994 she
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