Thanks to your support for SU QLD’s Sports Ministry and an invitation from two local schools, sport has helped bridge the gap between students from two island communities.
An 18-minute ferry ride from the mainland, Russell and Macleay islands feel surprisingly isolated from the South East Queensland mainland.
Due to expensive transport costs and a lack of services to the islands, the two school communities haven’t had regular opportunities to engage with people from the mainland, or take part in inter-school sports.
Macleay Island school principal Glenda Seawright says it’s vital for both schools’ Year 6 students to socialise outside their immediate community as they prepare to make the daily boat trip to the mainland’s high school when they start Year 7.
“The coming together of the two school communities is cost effective because the children can move for free around the islands, and it gives them a broader social group,” Glenda says.
“The more they can socialise outside of Macleay Island, the better prepared they’ll be for the transition to a bigger learning environment at high school.”
Glenda has received so much positive feedback from students and teachers alike, they’ve already locked in more SU Sports Days for the year.
The SU QLD team ran multiple sports across the two days, including soccer, basketball, netball, and other teamwork-based activities.
SU QLD’s Sports Ministry Coordinator, Jeff Howard, says the visit was about more than just kicking goals.
“Sport brings people together – and in this case it’s bringing young people from Macleay and Russell islands into closer community,” Jeff says.
“We were told at the start of the first day that some of the students had behavioural issues and might have trouble focusing, but once the sport started, every student was hooked.
“Sport’s ability to communicate fun, acceptance, and mateship is truly incredible.”
For 11-year-old Josh Mohr, who was awarded with a rugby ball for his sportsmanship throughout the day, the reason he loves sport is simple.
“I just love running around. It was heaps of fun and I’d like to thank Jeff for coming over and running the day for us,” Josh says. You can help support Jeff and the Sports Ministry team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0449 928 405.