Netball Queensland and the Queensland Firebirds have added significant depth to their community engagement initiatives, becoming the first-ever national netball franchise to partner with Deadly Choices; Australia’s most successful and recognisable preventative health brand among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Firebirds will optimise involvement with Deadly Choices throughout 2020, visiting Aboriginal Medical Service clinics throughout the State, plus assisting the practical delivery of key health messaging into Queensland schools, through foundation Deadly Choices Firebirds Ambassadors Jemma Mi Mi and Romelda Aiken.
“We’re really looking forward to getting out there and encouraging young girls and boys into getting active, exercising regularly and being healthy,” said Mi Mi who is a proud Wakka Wakka woman.
“I love the new DC Firebirds shirts, they’re a great representation of Rachael Sarra’s art which now aligns itself to community members making those deadly, healthy choices.
“I get a real buzz getting out to junior netball carnivals and seeing all the kids enjoying themselves, so if I can assist in inspiring these little ones in community to make positive life choices, then that’s rewarding in itself.”
Deadly Choices is an initiative of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), which aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, while also encouraging individuals to access their local Community Controlled Health Service and complete an annual ‘Health Check’.
Netball Queensland’s CEO, Catherine Clark, said the opportunity to partner with Deadly Choices was an important milestone for netball and the Diamond Spirit program.
“Our purpose at Netball Queensland is to transform lives through netball,” Ms Clark said.
“Through this partnership with Deadly Choices and Queensland Firebirds Ambassadors, we can significantly expand the reach of our Diamond Spirit program and help support Deadly Choices continue to deliver positive health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ms Clark said the Diamond Spirit program wasn’t just about netball.
“It’s a holistic development program that encompasses teamwork, family, community, mentoring, academic support, social-emotional well-being, physical health, and spiritual support.”
“Our vision for the Diamond Spirit program is to empower more young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and boys to become the strong, healthy, empowered young people they were born to be.”
Since the program began in 2017, it has created opportunities for children and youth in some of Queensland’s most remote communities to participate in netball.
The program also funds education hubs at Cairns and Bremer State High Schools, which have supported more than 150 students through direct mentoring and educational support, resulting in improved school attendance and academic outcomes amongst program participants.