Ru­ral links bear fruit

Canning Times - - NEWS - Ben Smith

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.”

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme d472757

The Right Track Foun­da­tion founder and CEO Graeme Wat­son trav­elled north for the group’s an­nual re­gional tour of ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

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