2017 Kimberley Spirit Selection Camp

The most talented U/18 footballers from across The Kimberley attended the 2017 Kimberley Spirit Selection Camp in Kununurra over the June long weekend (June 2 – June 5). The Kimberley Spirit Football Academy has been designed by Garnduwa to provide talented youth footballers the opportunity to improve themselves on & off the field through high performance training/football camps and educational workshops that cover career development, nutrition/meal planning, mental wellbeing and cultural awareness.

Majority of the players & staff arrived at the Kununurra District High School’s Clontarf facilities just before 8:00pm after a long drive from all parts of The Kimberley. After quickly setting up their swags and having dinner the players were into their first team activity for the camp which was “Establishing Camp Standards”. After a general discussion between the players and staff three Camp Standards were set and it was agreed by the WHOLE team that we would give 100% effort to uphold these standards from start to finish.

Camp Standards

  1. Respect the facilities & equipment we use.

  2. Respect the WHOLE team.

  3. Give 100% effort to all camp activities.

Saturday 3rd of June was probably the most intense day for the players as it involved:

- Kimberley Spirit Program Induction

- Divided into 4 groups with players they didn’t know.

- Nutrition/meal planning workshop (Toby – WA Country Health).

- Coles food shopping for two lunches + one dinner which they would prepare in their groups.

- Fundamental skills training session.

- Mental wellbeing workshop (Ali Watkins – One Tree Community Services).

- Game Planning workshop.

- Attended the Crows v Hawks EKFL match.

- Game scenario training session.

Ben Mckenna (Kununurra), Cain Shaw (Bayulu – Fitzroy Valley), Darcy Thorn (Broome), Neil Morgan (Warmun), Quillan Salkilld (Broome) and Zarak Merriette (Yiyilli – Fitzroy Valley) all impressed during the educational workshops showing confidence to speak in front of the group and give regular input on the topic that was being discussed.

The focus for Sunday 4th of June was match preparation and the task for each player was to start learning what works best for them individually when preparing for a match. Sunday also included:

- Ben Mckenna (Kununurra) and Cain Shaw (Bayulu – Fitzroy Valley) were voted by the players as the two captains for the afternoons Trial Match.

- Hike up Kelly’s Knob

- Welcome to Country and cultural awareness talk from Mirawoong Elder – Agnes Armstrong which was organised by Mirima.

- Touch Rugby game.

Gordan Churchill (Warmun), Dudley Dick (Yiyilli – Fitzroy Valley) and David Ningella (Broome) kept the player morale high across the day with their humour. After lunch the players organised their football playing gear and departed the Clontarf facilities for the Kimberley Spirit Trial Match at Town Oval. On arrival the group were split into two teams, assigned jumpers and sent straight into game preparation. This match also played host to several local U/17’s Kununurra footballers which was organised by Deon Cox (Garnduwa’s East Kimberley Programs Manager). All players gave 100% from the first bounce through to the final siren in warm conditions which was admirable. Following the match all players experienced a pool recovery session delivered by Garnduwa’s Tom Ellies. The day was ended with a BBQ feast prepared by Garnduwa C.E.O – Michael Albert, Camp Completion Certificate Presentation and camp photo’s compilation (highlight).

After a couple of busy days all players & staff were up early on Monday June 5 to pack away all of the swags, equipment and clean up the Clontarf facilities used for accommodation. Everyone was on the road by 7:30am on the long journey back across the Kimberley with Broome being the last stop.

Kimberley Spirit Coordinator had this to say about the camp – “Our objective was to create a player centred learning environment for all players. All the players were asked to do at the start of the camp was live by the Camp Standards. I can honestly say that every player tried to be the best they’re capable of throughout all activities which to me is the evidence of a successful camp. There was plenty of talented shown in the football activities but football aside I hope each player also took value out of the educational workshops. I look forward to tracking their development into the future.”

Garnduwa would like to thank the following organisations and people who assisted with this camp:

- Kununurra District High School for allowing us to use your facilities.

- Clontarf Foundation – East Kimberley Academy for providing our accommodation.

- Toby from WA Country Health for the insightful nutrition workshop.

- Ali Watkins from One Tree Community Services for meaningful mental wellbeing workshop.

- East Kimberley Football League for allowing the staff and players to watch an EKFL match along with providing umpires for the Trial Match.

- Mirima for providing the players and staff the opportunity to learn more about the Mirawoong people and country.

- Shire of Wyndham/East Kimberley for allowing us to use Town Oval for a training session and the Trial Match.

- Special thank you to Camp Volunteer – Tracey Thorn! Tracey provided outstanding support to all players and staff. The camp wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was without her.

- Garnduwa’s Regional Staff for assisting the players travel to and from Kununurra along with assisting with all camp activities.

The final Kimberley Spirit team will be selected within the next weeks for the Broome Camp in July which also includes the KRSP Shield Match against Claremont Tigers FC Colt’s Team (Saturday July 15).