What a brilliant week! I have just had a magical experience, and feel so grateful for the opportunity.
I spent this past week out as an athlete role model on the ARMTours trip to the Northern Territory. It’s a programme run by NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy) and it involves sending athletes out into Aboriginal communities to serve as role models for the students.
Our job was to support the students in their education during school hours, and engage actively with them through sport afterschool. It was fabulous! I visited Ntaria and was lucky enough to go on a school excursion with a group of students on the first day. We had the opportunity to learn about bush medicine and bush tucker. Lilly, our teacher for the day, brewed us up some drinking medicine, and it certainly was potent! It was specifically for combating flu, and I reckon I’ll give it a go next time I feel the early signs of a flu (and maybe even a cold?).
I spent a lot of the next few days with the littlies – the pre-school and transition kids. What a great way to spend the day! Play-doh, colouring, singing songs and piecing puzzles together. I simply fell in love with every student in the class, especially when they shared their big smiles whilst playing in the sand pit and kicking a soccer ball around during recess!
The evening of the second night in community the Ntaria ARMTours team headed out to Palm Valley for a gorgeous camp out in the national park. The NT is super green right now after all the rain, with an interesting consequence of a mouse plague! Needless to say I was far happier sleeping in a swag with a mossy net built in. Kept those little critters out of my bedding!
The next day was spent with some of the older students in a cooking class, and then doing a big of design with students during their computers class. That afternoon the Ntaria Roos (as we – the ARMTours team in Ntaria – decided to name ourselves) cooked up a storm and helped the school provide an all community BBQ (interesting job cooking meat for a vego!). We later gave out awards for the students who had been outstanding in their attention in class, teamwork, attendance, or leadership.
The Ntaria trip was wrapped up with a fantastic session swimming with about 60-70 of the students at the Alice Springs swimming pool, and having an all round brilliant time.
The Ntaria team then met up with the other ARMTours team members who had gone to different communities for a group camp out and BBQ. It was a fabulous opportunity to share stories, learn from the other community experiences, and sleep out under the beautiful NT stars.
I can’t wait for the next opportunity to head out with the ARMTours team!
If you’re curious about the programme, or about NASCA, check out www.nasca.com.au.