Footy boots worth gold in desert

A NEW pair of footy boots are a special prize for kids in the remote North-West. The Kicks4Kidz team discovered just how big a prize on a recent visit to Strelley Community School in Warralong, about 160km south-east of Port Hedland.

Kicks4Kidz director Rod Willet told students they could earn a pair of boots by listening to their message on living healthy lifestyles and attending school.

"One of the kids who sometimes misses school promised his attendance would be at 100 per cent if he could have a pair of new footy boots," Willet said. "I hope he earns himself a pair of boots."

"That's what this program is all about, teaching the kids good habits, running some footy clinics and having fun, and leaving that goal for them when we are gone."

Willet and Hawthorn premiership player Chance Bateman visited the school, which has about 50 students aged from five to 17, recently, the program's first trip to the dusty outpost in two years.

"The students were really excited to meet Chance, so we had a kick with a few of them before the (school) siren," Willet said. "They were telling us all about their local football team called the Warralong Bombers and that their side was full of very good players."

They broke the school into two groups for workshops, starting with the younger students. Part of the lesson was on Type 2 Diabetes, the scourge of indigenous communities.

"We spoke to the kids about the importance of having a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise and we talked with the older students and received good feedback from them on what are healthy foods to eat and which are not," Willet said.

Bateman then took the kids on a five minute walk to the footy oval, which had only one set of goal posts.

"They explained the recent winds had blown them over but that had not stopped them from using the oval," Willet said.

"They showed us their modified game using just one end of the ground and one set of goal posts. To Chance and I it looked as though whoever got the ball had a shot at goal but the kids insisted there were rules to the game."

The K4K program is sponsored by Ngarda, The Sunday Times, Steinepreis Paganin, Garnduwa, Grace Removals, 6PR, and supported by WAFC, Netball WA, Visy Specialists, Print Publishing and Octane Web Solutions.

For more information go to www.kicks4kidz.com.au


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