Hedland junior hockey players have had the opportunity to test out their hockey skills at the inaugural Hedland Hockey Carnival, following the expansion of the successful partnership between Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Hockey Australia.
Around 50 students from five schools in Hedland joined Olympians and members of the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos Joel Carroll, Josh Beltz, Kiran Arunasalm, Flynn Ogilvie and Shanea Tonkin at the interschool carnival which capped off 10 weeks of hockey clinics.
Students from Hedland Senior High School also participated by taking on umpiring roles as part of their Certificate II course in Sport and Recreation.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said Fortescue’s ongoing partnership with Hockey Australia was helping to improve social and educational outcomes for children living in the Pilbara.
“Contributing to strong and vibrant communities is a key Fortescue commitment and we are pleased to be able to expand the Pilbara Community Hockey Program (PCHP) to Port Hedland for the first time this year, following its success in Roebourne,” Mr Power said.
As part of the visit, players also travelled to the remote community of Yandeyarra where they held a hockey clinic with students from Yandeyarra Remote Community School.
“At Fortescue, we are proud of our longstanding relationships with Aboriginal people in the Pilbara and work hard to ensure the strength of our business benefits the communities in which we operate,” Mr Power said.
Yandeyarra Remote Community School Principal Graham Boyd said the session was an opportunity to learn new skills and to promote positive behaviour among students.
“Our students enjoyed the activities and interacted well with the Kookaburra players who also enjoyed the opportunity to experience the ‘outback’ setting of a remote community school. They are great roles models for our students and demonstrated the benefits of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and attending school,” Mr Boyd said.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Officer Matt Favier said the partnership with Fortescue was allowing national players to build stronger links with Indigenous communities in the Pilbara.
“PCHP is not just about teaching and developing hockey skills to students but also health and positive social messages, for the benefit of the wider Hedland community,” Mr Favier said.
Since 2011, Fortescue has partnered with Hockey Australia to deliver the PCHP which provides the opportunity for Australian hockey players and Olympians to visit the Pilbara region to work closely with local communities to promote the sport of hockey. The PCHP sits under the umbrella of Hockey Australia’s National Indigenous Program, which facilitates the delivery of hockey to remote regional Australia.
In 2017, Fortescue provided a community grant to the newly formed Hedland Hockey Club, which helped the club build a set of goals for the new hockey field. The next round of the grants programs opens for applications on 1 September 2017. For more information, visit http://www.fmgl.com.au