Sports carnivals desert style are a spectacle to behold, with temperatures soaring to above 40 degrees in the shade, ovals with a surface that put the MCG to shame, and nothing short of a finish that most road builders would be proud of.
October is the month of sports weekends for the Utopia region. To start the season off the first round of AFL was held at Ampilatwatja Community, the second round held at Arlparra Community and the final round held at Harts Range Community.
Sports carnivals are made for men who play back-to-back games consecutively for four to five days at each carnival and a week apart for rest and to allow travel from one community to the next.
Football aside, a spectacle to see was the car competitions that would rival the inaugural B&S car shows in Queensland. Each sports carnival in Utopia held competitions for best car representing individuals' favourite football teams, followed by the best ute competitions. Each round saw awards and prizes given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for ‘Best car’, ‘Best lights’ and ‘Best engine noise’ in the ute competitions.
"For some community members their ute is their pride and joy and it's great to be able to show off their utes in a safe and controlled manner, and much to the delight of spectators.
At Harts Range Sports Carnival, the local police, Sergeant James Nolan and Constable Frank Melhop were invited to judge the best car and best lights. The noise of revving engines at 6500rpm to see who had the loudest and best ute, the smell of overheating motors and the dust in your eyes was sensational! Every ute lit up like Christmas trees was a sight to see. More flags and enough lights to rival a Geneva Convention and cars that an AFL grand final would have been proud of. The interaction of the crowds and the car competitors was awe inspiring.
Utopia is a region very proudof their cars and football and they don’t do anything by halves. A great weekend with many humorous moments, the solid connection between local police and community is excellent and a great example of whole of community working and living together.