Malcolm Wright has covered numerous roles during his 20 plus years in netball, from the West Australian Netball League to national duties, however it was a trip to WA’s North West that fashioned an extraordinary experience.
Wright is the Coach of Titans Netball Club which recently teamed up with a former player now teaching at Yulga Jinna Remote Community School, 134 kilometres north of Meekatharra.
The Titans went on an expedition to the remote school of 16 students, with a goal to give its players an understanding of life outside of the city.
“We picked up a heap of netballs, bibs, basketballs and soccer balls and donated stuff like that to the school,” Wright said.
The first day back at school started as off a challenge, as a number of students failed to return straight away, however that swiftly changed.
“Day one of Term Four we got there, they had four pupils in the class who were too shy to even turn around and talk to our kids.”
“By the afternoon we played two half games of netball with them and some drills, on the Tuesday they suddenly had nine kids at school, because the four had gone back to the community and told them how much fun it was.”
Along with netball, the players gained knowledge from the students as they went for a walk along the levy surrounding the local community, with a couple of the students sharing their knowledge of edible plants.
“At the end of the day on Thursday to see our kids, their kids hugging and not wanting to leave each other, was just brilliant.”
“Of all the things, I have done within netball, as much as Commonwealth Games and whatever else, to see the interaction between our kids and their kids and the two cultures is probably the most amazing thing I have done in netball.”
Wright said he hopes to make the visit an annual experience and team up with Shooting Stars’ Meekatharra program going forward.
Shooting Stars is an initiative of Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia and uses netball as the vehicle to encourage greater engagement and attendance at school of young Aboriginal girls living in WA’s remote communities and regional towns