A group from the Townsville Tourists Amateur Swimming Club will have the chance to learn about the role of story-telling in Indigenous culture, as well as the story of an almost forgotten Indigenous swimming champion, when they are special guests the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys home game against the Sharks at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight.

As participants in Cultural Corner prior to the game, the group will have a special interest in the story of Douglas Pitt, who undertook the first recorded swim from Magnetic Island to Townsville in 1921. 

A Darnley Island man from the Torres Strait, Pitt was one of Australia’s finest distance swimmers and undertook the Magnetic Island to Townsville swim to raise money to fund an attempt on the English Channel. 

He did not achieve his goal, passing away just a few years after his pioneering Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim.

A feature at all Cowboys home matches in the 2014 season and supported by the Australian Government, Cultural Corner features a series of come-and-try activities, displays and information promoting North Queensland’s Indigenous culture.

“Cultural Corner at the Cowboys’ NRL clash against the Sharks on Monday night will provide the many families and children who come along to the stadium with an educational and entertaining experience,” Cowboys’ community relations manager Fiona Pelling said.

"This game's story-telling theme will focus on traditional and some more modern stories and the importance of story-telling within Indigenous cultures."

Indigenous consultant Michelle Rowe will be working with the Cowboys Learn Earn Legend! team to ensure that everyone who visits Cultural Corner leaves with a better understanding of traditional culture and the importance and role of story-telling.

“The Cowboys have always had a strong connection to our Indigenous community which has grown substantially with the success of the Learn Earn Legend! program,” Ms Rowe explained.

“Together with the Learn Earn Legend! program, Cultural Corner is helping to strengthen those connections while increasing the awareness of Indigenous culture in the broader community.”

Cultural Corner will be located on the western side of 1300SMILES Stadium and will be open from 5.45pm-6.45pm.

Douglas Pitt (centre) – photo courtesy of CityLibraries Townsville, Local History Collection