Sports Programs Resources | Active Community Program

Healthway Girls Leadership
Garnduwa’s core business is to assist remote communities to become self-sufficient in the delivery and staging of sport and recreational activities within their own community. In 2009, the Garnduwa Executive Committee decided to redirect the operations of the organisation from purely delivering sports activities in the Kimberley to placing an operational priority on assisting communities to achieve those self-sufficiency outcomes.

Kimberley remote communities have historically placed little emphasis on sporting and active recreational activities within their community. Adult participation in any such activity was restricted to infrequent sports carnivals (often hundreds of kilometres away and difficult to get to) or the occasional community visit by sporting organisations. For the younger members of the community, there was at least some school based sporting activities in place but after school hours and on holiday periods those activities came to a halt. Once having left school (many while still in their early teenage years) regular participation in physical activities came to an end unless a nearby town offered sporting opportunities.

Visits by Garnduwa to the communities to run sporting activities were positively received but insufficient, and the more remote the community the less frequent the visits. Staging of sports carnivals for communities to attend was a step in the right direction but there was an ever-increasing need to place a greater emphasis on assisting the communities in becoming capable of delivering their own sport and active recreational programs in a structured and ongoing way.

Numerous negative and harmful challenges faced the communities during these long term periods of physical inactivity, including high rates of alcohol and substance abuse, increasing criminal activity, varying degrees of self-harm, rapidly increasing health problems and low self-esteem. Under the umbrella of the “Smarter Than Smoking Active Community Program”, Garnduwa has been developing and implementing workable and sustainable sport and recreation plans in these communities in an attempt to combat these challenges and assist the communities to become capable of delivering their own sporting and recreational activities in a structured and ongoing way.

Garnduwa, along with other key stakeholders, has been able to extend its reach by attaching other programs focused on developing leadership skills, self-esteem and healthier eating habits to its already existing sports programs in an effort to positively impact on problems such as reduced school attendance, physical and mental well-being and involvement with the juvenile justice system, as well as offering employment and training opportunities.