Jour­ney to keep kids in school

Midwest Times - - SPORT -

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.

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