Providing unique health education, fitness programs and recycled sports equipment to improve the mental and physical health of under serviced communities around Australia, including the Pilbara region.
Fair Game Australia inspires healthy communities through recycled sports equipment, as they know sport and fitness are integral components of a healthy lifestyle and promote physical, mental and social wellbeing. Through the provision of recycled sporting equipment, fitness and education they aim to reduce the risk of lifestyle related disease, build social cohesion and improve mental well-being.
Funds raised: $12,055
Fair Game pitched again at TFN Perth in 2017 to continue to engage and improve social capital in remote Pilbara communities through location visits and to further develop their core programs; Game On! (unique fitness activities), which aims to reduce preventable disease such as diabetes and heart disease, and Healthy Communities (interactive health education sessions) designed to reduce the incidence of communicable disease such as gastroenteritis, impetigo and influenza through safe hygiene practices.
It doesn’t matter where they live, most kids want the opportunity to play sport and be active. When it comes to accessing to these opportunities however, it does matter where they live. The barriers to sport and health education for children living in the Pilbara region in remote Western Australia can be hundreds of kilometres. The Pilbara region has some of the worst health outcomes in the state, and Fair Game Australia is working hard to change this inequality.
Thanks to the generosity on the night at TFN’s ‘Pub Pitch’ in Perth, a total of 601 kids in the Pilbara region were given a chance to participate in organised health programs across 29 unique sessions. These sessions provided them with health education, fitness, the donation of 134 items of sports equipment, as well as 63 of the children going home with Healthy Community Packs. Below is the story of one of the young people impacted by Fair Game’s dedication.
Lathalia* is a young girl in a remote Pilbara community. Lathalia is a very keen footballer but was hesitant to join in the regular Friday night games as these mostly involve older teenage male participants, with the female youth either sitting on the sideline or doing alternate activities in the hall. One of the Fair Game volunteers, Bella, a star of Perth's Women's Football League encouraged Lathalia to come off the sidelines and join in, shadowing her for some time while her confidence built. Latahlia, an extremely talented sportsperson, excelled in the game. She was given a donated pair of footy boots by the Fair Game team, which was received with a big smile and assurance that she was going to be a regular player in the Friday night games.
* Lathalia’s name has been changed to protect her identity
Funds raised: $23,197
Fair Game pitched at TFN Perth in 2015 to support the development of their youth-led organisation made up of passionate professionals and students running unique and engaging sports-based programs incorporating essential health messages. The team has since established mentoring and volunteer training with aims to develop hubs across Australia.
The first Fair Game session with Redfern Jarjum College began on a sunny July day at Redfern Park. The volunteer ‘Fair Gamers’ had arrived 15 minutes ahead - to set up activities and talk through the three page lesson plan they had prepared in advance.
Suddenly, six Junior Class students stormed the park, boiling with energy. It took some coaxing and, although these boisterous kids eventually sat down long enough for a brief introduction and an explanation of the obstacle course - it didn't take long before the skipping rope was kicked out of place and cones started being tossed about. The youngsters then tore through the equipment bag and scattered off to their own devices.
Flash-forward to the present day and this scene has changed dramatically. The volunteers know better how to maintain focus and momentum with the kids and, although it took some time to gain their trust, through perseverance - and dedicated volunteers - there is now active participation by all of the students, not just a handful - and not for five but 40 minutes at a time.
Fair Game pitched at the Funding Network in April 2015 and raised $23,197. This enabled the organisation to establish in NSW and Victoria and train 34 volunteer Fair Gamers (including rural experience for seven of them). There have been 259 participants through the NSW Jarjum program supported by more than 340 volunteer manhours. The Recycle and Donate program (operated in partnership with Storage King) collected 761 pieces of equipment and has already donated over 250 back out into the community. Most importantly, Fair Game has established strong foundations for its future in NSW: an executive committee, a charities licence, fully integrated information systems and interactive training programs for volunteers.
Fair Game is changing lives an afternoon at a time - a transformation not lost on the adults working to educate the young participants . Here’s what one of those teachers had to say about the Fair Game impact:
“Just wanted to send you an email of thanks. I spoke to [my colleague] about the change that I experienced watching the students with Fair Game today. It was amazing. We both agree that your dedication with us has shown results for the students. It covers many areas that help them to socialise, understand rules and improve their fitness. You didn’t give up on us which we have often see with people working with our students. Thank you from both of us.”