Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day One ARMtour – I’m grateful

I arrived in Arrernte country (the town of Alice Springs) today to meet up with the ‘Athletes as Role Models’ (ARMtour) crew. This is my third tour in the Northern Territory, coordinated by the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA). 

NASCA has been operating since 1995 and delivers a range of programs that have reached thousands of Aboriginal youth in communities across Australia through its ARMtours, Sporting Chance Academies and Career Aspirations programs. NASCA specialises in programs that encourage young Aboriginal students to stay in school, make positive lifestyle choices and consider the enormous amount of career options they can pursue.

I’m proud to be a Board Member of NASCA but also feel privileged to be able to be part of ARMtour with all the other volunteers who come from across the country and from a range of sporting, academic and community backgrounds and organisations.

As an ARMtour role model, our responsibility when visiting remote Aboriginal communities for the week is to deliver education, sports and healthy lifestyle activities. This tour I am heading to Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), which has a population of around 600 and was run by the church until 1976. 

The other communities visited include Yuelamu (formerly Mount Allan Station), Warumpi /Papunya and Ntaria (also known as Hermannsburg).

It’s going to be an inspiring week and along the way I’ll introduce you to my fellow/sista team members, but before we head out in the morning to our respective schools / communities, I just wanted to say that I am grateful for those who make these tours possible. 

Firstly, Patrick Johnson- once athlete, always Olympian, we (NASCA) are lucky to have him on board as our ARMtour coordinator. He demonstrates excellence in sport and in his every day work.

And of course the Role Models. I’m grateful for the passionate (mainly) young people who eagerly put their hands up and choose to give their time, expertise and enthusiasm to ARMtour sharing with Aboriginal kids who would most likely never get the chance to meet high achieving sportspeople and community members. The generosity of spirit is inspiring, heart warming and a reminder of the goodwill still evident in society.

 [Pic above is moi and rolemodel Tyrone Bean from Victoria]

[Thank you to DEEWR who fully funds ARMtour as part of the Sporting Chance Program] 

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