Club proud to help children

Coach Rusty Hazel with Woola Woola Koolangkas players. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d439465
Coach Rusty Hazel with Woola Woola Koolangkas players. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d439465

Coach Rusty Hazel said the Woola Woola Koolangkas, which meant �proud proud children� in Noongar, encouraged Aboriginal girls to get involved in sport and socialise.

�We are the only Aboriginal program that�s running out of any (netball) association in the urban area,� she said.

�We have other girls from other nationalities as well, but the majority have to be Aboriginal.

�It�s a really good program and it engages all our kids � it�s about the capacity building of young kids.

�We started with one team; we started the Woola Woola program four years ago (and) we�ve grown.�

Ms Hazel said the club had about 75 players aged between five and 34, with some taking on coaching roles as they got older.

The Butler resident said the club relied on ongoing support from Balga Senior High School and Quinns Beach Primary School, as well as Netball WA and the Joondalup Netball Association.

�A lot of these kids would not be able to engage in this game if we didn�t have that support,� she said.

�We�ve got so many things happening to socialise and keep these kids engaged.�

Ms Hazel said Balga SHS let club Elder Alma Garlett use the school bus to take open division players to Joondalup on Monday evenings, where the Joondalup Netball Association provided afternoon tea.

�Without the bus, we just couldn�t get the kids there,� she said.

She said a chance meeting led to building company Georgiou Group becoming sponsors for three years.

�Our kids had no track suits to keep them warm � they have purchased all our tracksuits,� she said.

�Our uniform has a story about the gatherings and the rivers that connect the gatherings.�

The club also expects to receive a $2500 equipment grant in August from ANZ�s Netball Nation initiative, which will include two goal post pads, three balls, two sets of bibs, 30 training cones, 10 drink bottles, two whistles and a gear bag.