Introducing Lacrosse to Wadeye, NT

Wadeye is arguably the largest remote community in the Northern Territory. It sits approximately 300kms south west of Darwin (as the crow flys) but takes, on average, 5-6 hours to get there by car when the roads are good! At least 6 months of the year Wadeye is only accessible by barge or plane. In the past Wadeye has nationally been identified for its frequent disturbances and rioting, this is fortunately changing.

Wadeye 1I have been visiting Wadeye and other remote communities for more than three years now as a Mental Health Nurse and consult on mental health issues. As you may imagine there is always something to do.

I have been involved with lacrosse all my life and sometimes find it a struggle now living in a place where there is none!  Well I'm glad to say that this is not the case now. Whilst I was down in Melbourne recently I was speaking to Paul Clough. He thought that there may be a few old soft lacrosse kits floating around and asked me if I wanted them to take down to the communities. I naturally jumped at this chance. Who wouldn't?

Well finally, after a lot of logistical to and throwing had the chance to take the sticks down a few weeks ago. We had a few sessions with some very enthusiastic and naturally skilled kids.  We first introduced lacrosse to the kids in the community by just heading down to the oval and throwing the ball around. Before you know it, we had around 12 kids there wanting to have a go at this new sport. I was lucky enough to organise a game at the rec hall a few days later which probably included another 8 or so kids. It seems that this could be an on going activity now during my visits and I intend to take the sticks to other remote communities in the near future, fingers crossed.

Wadeye 2

I'd like to thank Lacrosse Victoria and my colleague Josie for giving me the opportunity to bring lacrosse to another part of the world.

Article by Glenn Horder

 

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