On the 15th of September, the Women’s Aboriginal AFL Academy got to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. We were lucky enough to travel to the APY lands to visit some communities. Myself and Miss Vince were the only people to go from Central Yorke School and we both felt extremely privileged.
On Sunday we flew to Alice Springs where it was very hot and windy and waited for our next flight to Uluru. After landing we went sightseeing then drove five hours along a very rocky road to get to Umuwa where we camped for the rest of the trip.
The next morning we had an early start. We got up at 6 in the morning and split off into two groups. Each group visited 2 schools that day to run a workshop about healthy eating. Firstly, my group visited a school at Pip where we split off into class groups. Joyce and Myself along with Miss Vince went and worked with the kindy students and helped them with counting to 10.
On the third day we visited Amata school and the students were very excited to see some new friendly faces. First, we were in the classrooms helping the students read. After they finished their books, we were called into the other classrooms to talk about healthy eating and ran some football drills for the students.
This was very engaging for the kids and allowed us to get to know each other better.
Wednesday was an eye opening experience as we focused on the cultural aspect of the camp. We had an elder from the Ernabella community take us looking for honey ants with his wife. The process of finding these honey ants was very long and tiring. Eventually with determination we finally found them and we soon found that it was definitely worth the wait. We also looked for witchetty grubs, but for many reasons, I decided to pass on this nutritious snack!
On Thursday morning we left to go to Ernabella and set up for the sports carnival that we were running for all of the communities in the APY lands. This included about 350 students and many community members. The day was full of fun activities such as javelin, shotput, high jump and for the younger kids we had set up basketball games, hip hop dancing and football drills. Later on in the day the students came together to finish off the sports carnival with a colour run. This was very exciting for the kids and also for teachers who joined in. That night we headed to the Ernabella school ready for the Dance Carnival. Each school performed dances with a cultural component and made it difficult for judges to choose a winner. To finish off the night we all got together and made a huge dance circle. On the Friday we made the trek back through some crazy dust storms.
This camp allowed many people involved to make life-long friends and was an inspiring experience. It is definitely something I will remember for a very long time and I hope that I am able to go back in the future.