Softball Australia has established a number of invaluable partnerships that provide essential support for our Indigenous programs.
Red Dust Role Models (Red Dust)
Red Dust is a non-profit health promotion charity that seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged youth in remote communities. Red Dust utilises the profile and influence of positive role models from many walks of life to:
- Deliver health messages
- Inspire healthy lifestyle decisions
- Promote education as a path to personal development, employment and readiness for community leadership.
Each year Softball Australia provides a number of elite athletes as role models to participate in these community visits and to promote Softball to Indigenous communities.
"These camps leave a real positive effect on the kids and community that can last for months afterwards. I think that the Softball program leaves a positive effect on the girls because it gives them something to strive for within their community, it supports a healthy lifestyle, gives the girls an opportunity to achieve success without the outside male influences and Softball is naturally a friendly and supportive environment."
National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA)
NASCA uses sport and sporting role models to encourage Indigenous youth to value education, stay in school and increase their post
school opportunities. Softball Australia is proud to partner NASCA through the Athletes as Role Models program (ARMTour).
ARMTour involve teams of athletes visiting remote Indigenous communities in concert with schools to deliver educational, health and sporting programs. Softball role models help convey 4 simple messages to remote Indigenous youth:
Danielle Stewart on ARMTour in 2008
- Choose healthy food and drinks to feel better and live longer
- Avoid harmful behaviours and substance abuse, in particular petrol sniffing, alcohol abuse and smoking
- Stay in school to gain formal education and greater opportunities
- Play sport to keep fit and have fun!
Since 1997, ARMtour role models have reached more than 6,000 young people in 11 communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, East Arnhem Region and the Tiwi Islands. Many community leaders share stories of higher attendance rates at school, increased participation in sport and less destructive and dangerous behaviour among youth.
Kym Turnell, who represented Australia at the 2009 Japan Cup Series, recently spent time with the Community of Ntaria. Kym shares her experience with us.