In October 2010 the Essendon Football Club headed up north to the remote communities of Wadeye and the Tiwi Islands.
The EFC has a strong partnership with these communities in an effort to support the AFL’s long-term engagement strategy to build the capacity of partner communities by encouraging Indigenous people to reach their full potential.
The group, who consisted of players and staff, were lucky enough to see firsthand the great work that is being done in the communities and were able to contribute to our club’s ongoing support. The timing of their trip saw an early start to the wet season. During the wet season the town of Wadeye is cut off from the outside world (which can last for up to five months!) so their trip was limited to one week.
They visited numerous primary and secondary schools, talking to the students about the importance (and enjoyment) of playing sport and attending school, running Auskick clinics, playing football with the students and watching the great skills of local players. They also participated in a community “cook off” to promote healthy eating and build community connections and joined the Tiwi Bombers for a training session.
EFC Staff are sponsoring individual players at the Tiwi Bombers and will be following their progress during the 2010/2011 season. The players were presented with training singlets, (organised through the wonderful administration staff at Windy Hill) which they wore with pride. Feeling so well supported gave them an extra boost going into their first game of the season resulting in a win despite the wet and slippery conditions.
Thank you to everyone involved in making this trip possible and for the support of these communities, we hope it can continue and look forward to updating you as the AFLNT season progresses.