Journey to keep kids in school
Before the school year winds up, Shooting Stars netballers at Carnarvon Community College plan to conquer a 50km bike ride to the Quobba Blow Holes, a journey aimed at persuading players to stay in school.
Roughly 70 indigenous girls at Carnarvon Community College play Shooting Stars netball, between Year 5 to Year 12.
The initiative also attempts to engage students in other activities to demonstrate the value of sticking to their education.
Program co-ordinator Bernie Kop said students were already training to take on the ride.
“One day we do a gym session with a personal trainer and the other day we ride around Carnarvon and do different tracks to build up our fitness,” Ms Kop said.
“Building a rapport with the girls is the first and foremost thing, to keep these girls at school.
“I felt if we could do some outside school activities with them it would help to keep them on track.”
In the meantime, plans to cement community connectedness in the students have led to regular visits to Carnarvon Hospital, where netballers give patients manicures.
Ms Kop said the project was more than just painting nails, but also having many different conversations with people and giving back to the community.
WA Country Health Service Mid West director Mid West Jeffrey Calver praised the girls for their efforts.
“The Shooting Stars initiative is a great example of how we can come together with other organisations to benefit our patients,” Mr Calver said.
“We’re not immune to the fact that hospitals can be daunting environments and what these young girls do is offer some comfort, some interaction and some kindness in offering manicures to some of our elderly patients.”
Across WA, more than 350 participate in the Shooting Stars program. About 60 per cent of registered students now maintain an average attendance rate of 80 per cent or more.
The program also boasts high indigenous worker rates, with 75 per cent of staff and 50 per cent of the board identifying as indigenous.