Around 300 students across the Pilbara have been provided the opportunity to test their skills against members of the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, thanks to an ongoing partnership between Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Hockey Australia.
The highly successful Fortescue Community Hockey Program provides pathways for the next generation of Pilbara school children to participate in hockey, and more broadly to increase their engagement and attendance in school. It also provides Australian hockey players and Olympians the opportunity to visit the Pilbara and work closely with local communities to promote the sport of hockey.
Growing from its initial pilot status at Roebourne Primary School in 2011, the 2020 program ran across 16 schools, hockey associations and community organisations across the Pilbara. The ten-week program concluded with a series of interschool hockey carnivals in South Hedland, Yandeyarra and Roebourne.
Fortescue Hedland Operations General Manager Mark Komene said, “The Fortescue Community Hockey Program extends beyond simply encouraging children to participate in sports, it exposes them to inspirational role models and demonstrates the importance of teamwork and a healthy lifestyle.
“This flagship program has become a highlight on our annual community calendar, forming an integral part of our approach to ensuring local communities benefit from Fortescue’s growth and success.”
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Officer Matt Favier said, “It is a privilege for our elite athletes to visit the Pilbara and inspire kids with their can-do attitude through community engagement activities, showing that living in remote area does not stop you from aspiring to work towards your dreams.
“As we look to expand the program, it is important we continue to listen to the remote communities in the Pilbara and drive positive messages using our national athletes as role models.”
Fortescue has been a Naming Rights Partner of the Kookaburras since 2011, and a supporting partner of the Hockeyroos since 2016.