Wananami Remote Community School Cross Country Carnival
For the second straight year the Wananami students of Kupungarri Community have hosted their Cross Country Carnival. In 2014 their first carnival was held with the Wangkatjungka Remote Community School and for 2015 the event was held with Wanalirri Catholic School from Ngallagunda Community. At first glance you may not think you can find the sleepy Kupungarri Community on the map but take a closer look and you will find it located midway along the famous Gibb River Road between Derby and Wyndham. It is a perfect spot for travellers to stop over and take in the sights of the Mount Barnett Range, visit the iconic Manning Gorge and see the dangerous Barnett River that runs alongside Kupungarri Community.
This September the kids in the community put on their running shorts, singlets and prepared themselves for the run of their lives. For 2015 the cross country course was extended an additional 1 km making the course a total of 2.5 km. The first race saw five competitors line up in the 8-9 year old age group and tackle the course. There were seven water stations positioned along the course to provide support to the runners.
Sonny Ozies, Garnduwa’s Smarter than Smoking Active Community Coordinator and race starter, was positioned at the finish line and he was stunned as the first competitor arrived at the finish line in just over 14 minutes and the rest of the field followed in just under 18 minutes. Sonny wondered aloud, “With the sun rising higher surely the course would have been a lot more gruelling than that.” Meredith Robertson, Physical Education Teacher and Race Coordinator, told Sonny, “With the Running Club we’ve established after school in the lead up to this event the kids are more fit than last year.”
The second race was held for the 10-15 year old age group. This year a total of 14 competitors lined up for the challenge. Timing was kept to establish records and results for the years to come. Like the first race a blistering pace was set from the beginning by all runners. It seemed as if the race had just started when all of a sudden you heard a yell, ”Here they are,” coming from the finishing line. Sure enough Selwyn Wungundin was full throttle and into the last stretch of the race. Once he hit the finishing tape the clock read 10 minutes. Not long after Selwyn’s sister, Lakeisha Wungundin, came in second in a time of 13 minutes capping off a great race for the family. The day ended with the Kindy Sprint followed by the Parents and Teachers Sprints. Sonny Ozies was impressed by the high standard of athletics displayed by the community as a whole.
Presentations followed the last of the races and then a healthy hamburger and veggie roll lunch made by the Nunga Resource men was enjoyed by all. At the close of the event a big thank you went out to the Wanalirri School for attending, all the volunteers for their efforts, Garnduwa and all parents and friends.
Until next year, Keep on Running the “Smarter than Smoking” way.