It’s no secret that I aspire to be the first Aboriginal man from a remote community to coach elite Australian Rules Football. But when I was living out in community, I had no idea of pathways and limited access to opportunities. I didn’t even know this was a dream I was allowed to have. Who was I, some bloke from the heart of the Kimberley, even thinking that I had something to offer to elite sports? I didn’t know what the pathway was or how to even get on it.
Some people in the sports industry grew up around it- going to matches with their families, watching as the coach, umpires, fieldsmen all did their job. Maybe they even yarned a bit to them, did some work experience there while at high school. Maybe they have an uncle that works in the industry. Or an aunt who knows someone to give them a chance in an entry level role. Maybe their career advisor at school was able to explain the process and the steps to take. Maybe they lived near a TAFE or university who stepped out the courses they had to take and how. Young people in remote communities won’t have had that rich immersion in the sports industry. They will have seen it on the TV, maybe if they are lucky travelled to town to see a regional match or had the rare player visit their community for outreach programs (if they were in community at the time it happened once in a blue moon). The remote Aboriginal kid might have a poster of their favourite First Nations sports star. They might have decided they want to play a sport. But that’s probably it. Their mum or dad (if they live with mum or dad) might work in a small Government organisation in town, a station or the local shop but that remote kid probably doesn’t have any role models they know working in the sports industry.
You can see how any pathway in the sports industry isn’t clear like it might be to a kid in the city. But remote Aboriginal people could have great things to offer to your sports organisation:
So for other kids kicking around out bush- they need to know the pathways to not only dream to be players but also that there is a whole industry of jobs that they can do to.
Want to yarn about sports and reaching out to remote communities? Get in contact.
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