Rural links bear fruit
CANNING District Athletics Club’s connection with the Meekatharra community runs far deeper than the athletics camps they run in the area.
In conjunction with notfor-profit organisation The Right Track Foundation, club athletes drove almost 800km north to take part in the Meekatharra Outback Festival.
The trip was in addition to two other athletics camps they have run in the region over the course of last year.
Right Track Foundation founder and Canning Districts coach Graeme Watson said this was the fifth time they had been up to Meekatharra and they had established strong connections in the area.
“What we established was three distinct special ways we can link in and support the community,” he said.
“We work with the youth centre to run a school holiday program in term one, do remote school trips in term three and the term three holidays, and also support the outback festival.
“We go up now and the kids know us; we rock up now and we’re the athletics guys.”
Mr Watson said the group took pride in helping the Meekatharra community in any way they could.
“We took up orange trees and they’re going to grow an orchard; we took up six orange trees and next time we go up we’re going to take some lemons,” he said.
“All the oranges are going to go to the school so the kids can have fresh fruit.
“We do stuff for the community up there, but there’s also the education for people from Perth so they are able to see the reality of what’s happening in our own backyard.”
The Right Track Foundation founder and CEO Graeme Watson travelled north for the group’s annual regional tour of rural communities.