Sport Inspires Interns to Give Back

Paige’s love affair with sports began when she was a kid. For as long as she can remember she has always played some kind of sport. 


At school, Health Studies introduced her to how sports can impact a person’s health and wellbeing in a positive way and after finishing high school Paige decided to explore her curiosity around sports and is currently studying Sports Science at UWA. There she is discovering some fascinating aspects of sports, which includes how she says “the sports we’ve played for a long time, some of them aren’t effective or good now and just understanding why and how human bodies move with sports”.


At UWA is where Paige also discovered Fair Game through her involvement with the McCusker Centre and we were delighted to have her complete a placement with us towards the end of 2022 in our Recycle and Donate Program. Included in the many orders Paige dealt with as part of the program, was an order from Nyikina Mangala Community School, which is a school familiar to Paige that has close ties to Derby where she is from. As Paige explains “That school has kids that come to Derby and join in on our basketball programs and swimming, which is good because they are only a small community and have limited stuff they can do”.


Once she finishes her masters in 2024, Paige plans to return to her community in Derby and teach sports and health, and says she already knows the kind of work she’s keen to get started on “I wanna work with teenagers mainly. With our health, for Aboriginals, it’s not that great and I just want to educate myself on the different types of health and learning strategies so that when I’m confident enough I can go back to my community and teach there”. Working with teenagers Paige believes is a great place to start “because the kids are still learning and still developing and so if I help out there and teach them some stuff they can take it on board.”


Although it’s only 220 kilometres from Broome, Derby’s landscape is very different and brought about by the fact that it has the highest tides of any Australian port. This means about eleven metres of tidal water flow in and out every six hours. “Broome is beachy, ocean and blue water” says Paige “and then two hours away is Derby, muddy water, mud flats, marsh. Where Derby is situated all around it is marsh.”


Derby is also known for being the starting or finishing point for many who take on the off road outback adventure that is the Gibb River Road, stretching from Derby to Kununurra.


The Fitzroy River meets the ocean to the west of Derby and the May, Meda and Lennard Rivers meet the ocean to its east. This makes Derby the perfect spot for fishing, one of Paige’s favourite things to do back home, along with camping. A good day of fishing means catching barramundi, and salmon and a not so good day says Paige means “We often get catfish, we don’t like those ones.”


Even though Paige will be busy over the next few years completing her studies, not to mention the cadetship she has applied for in 2023 and her masters the following year, she always makes time to play sports and currently plays basketball and netball through the University Basketball League. This is because playing sports helps her in more ways than simply keeping active “I get life long friendships and because we often have sporting carnivals with basketball in different communities and towns, I often play on different teams as well. It sort of gets me networking and knowing other people, being involved in the community, the Kimberly community, not just in my own town”.

Story by Priscilla Lynch