Dubbo students don the whites

Netball NSW continues to celebrate Social Inclusion Week by shining a spotlight on some of the work that is being done in our community to help spread our love of netball.

Social Inclusion Week is being celebrated from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 November; an initiative all about connecting local communities, workmates, family and friends in order to build and strengthen relationships and networks, addressing isolation and exclusion by supporting people who may be unable to help themselves.

Today we look at some of the work Netball NSW Sport Development team are doing in the Indigenous community, particularly when Dubbo College South Campus and Dubbo College Delroy Campus students swapped pens for whistles when Netball NSW recently brought the Indigenous Sporting Program (ISP) to the area.

The purpose of the ISP was to help introduce netball to those in the area who may not have participated before, with a particular focus on Indigenous students.  One particular aspect of the program was to help create relationships between primary and high school students, so that the transition from primary to high school was made a little easier.

This saw Netball NSW Umpire and Officials Development Coordinator Jan Simpson join Regional Development Officer Emily Ross in helping to deliver the Level 1 Umpiring course to Aboriginal students through the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA).

NASCA offers a number of programs that focus on engaging students to participate and stay in school, with school-based sport and recreation focused learning and development programs for Aboriginal youth, both in South Sydney and Dubbo.

The Level 1 Umpiring course was held the day before a ISP Gala Day, with 20 high school students participating in the workshop.  Simpson said she was proud to see many return, as well as other students volunteer the following day to assist in running the Gala Day for more than 120 primary school students.

“The NASCA students were really enthusiastic during the course, as well as the Gala Day, which was really satisfying to see they got a lot out of umpiring,” Simpson said.

“For many of these students they’d never played, let alone umpired, a netball game so it was fantastic to see them in action.  The ISP Gala Day provided perfect opportunity for the students to practise their umpiring skills in a fun and safe environment – it was a proper competition, therefore they could practice and learn a lot without the pressure of a normal game environment.

“However the students didn’t just umpire – they helped coach and manage some of the primary school teams, which really helped create that strong bond with the younger students the program was aiming for.

“All in all Netball NSW received some great feedback on the Indigenous Sporting Program.  Emily has an amazing attitude and really understands the issues these kids deal with on a daily basis, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them.  I’m looking forward to getting back to Dubbo to see how the NASCA students are progressing with their new umpire skills,” Simpson concluded.

For more information on the Indigenous Sporting Program or Netball NSW Community Engagement initiatives, contact the Sports Development team on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours or email [email protected]. For further information on NASCA visit their website: www.nasca.com.au.