SOUTH WEST INDIGENOUS NETWORK PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES
Baseball Queensland are partnered with SWIN (South West Indigenous Network) with their TRAX Tours to deliver sporting opportunities to children in rural and remote areas of Queensland.
“The TRAX sports Education Tours are often the only chance for students from small and remote schools to trial and experience new sports, and access coaching. The Tours, held over a week, offer primary school aged participants with quality coaching, inclusiveness and the ability to improve overall health and well-being through physical activity. It also provides sports administration workshops and in-service training for teachers, coaches, officials and club administrators to ensure ongoing participation is well supported in communities. The tours are strongly supported by the state and national sporting organisations whose development officers host many of the specialist clinics.
The South West Indigenous Network (SWIN) currently has funding through the Department of Social Services (Community Development and Participation Programme) to conduct a total of 12 tour programs (4 tour programs each year across a 3 year period) with visits to 61 communities across the South West Region. These tours also aim to provide community members and volunteers with regular access to development officers and high quality sporting experiences to continue getting children and community members in rural and remote areas to participate in physical activity.”
Baseball Queensland coach, Nick Bachono, is heading the 2018 Trax Tour and has just completed the first tour in May in Cunnamulla, Eulo and Wyandra in rural Queensland. The second stage of the tour is running from the 18th of June until the 22nd June in Cunnamulla, Charleville, Thargomindah and Quilpie.
Nick Bachono sat down with Baseball Queensland to talk about the importance of Trax Tours and his view on the development of sport in rural Queensland.
What is your current role with SWIN?
My role with the South West Indigenous Network (SWIN) is a regional sports development officer on behalf of Baseball Queensland/ Brisbane Bandits for the 2018 TRAX Tour. The TRAX Tour is a tour of South West Queensland delivering sports programs to regional schools and communities throughout the region. The sports program is made up of a wide variety of Queensland based sports organisation- Baseball Qld/Bandits, Brisbane Heat Cricket, Hockey Queensland, Tennis Queensland, Touch Football Queensland, Netball Queensland, Golf Queensland, Softball Queensland and Queensland Rugby League. We meet in Toowoomba and travel to regional schools and deliver our sports programs to some isolated schools on South West Queensland. So far this year we have travelled to: Goondiwindi, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Charleville, Eulo, Wyandra and Thargomindah. In 2018 we’ve worked with over 1200 students.
Why are networks like SWIN so important to the development of sport in Queensland?
The TRAX Sports Education Tours are often the only chance for students from small and remote schools to trial and experience new sports and access quality coaching. The Tours offer a variety of sports to a broad student base that focus on inclusiveness and enable participants to improve overall health and well-being through physical activity.
What is your favourite part of coaching these kids?
It’s fun! Getting the chance to travel these remote schools and communities is an awesome experience. There’s so much to learn and lots to take in. My role is to introduce kids to baseball, which they otherwise wouldn’t experience and I like to see them enjoying that experience.
Is there a specific element of coaching these kids that is especially rewarding for you?
Being able to introduce these kids to baseball is extremely rewarding!
Watching the looks on their faces when they realise they can actually hit a ball is magic.
Where can you see this network going in the future?
Going into more communities that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to this kind of program. One such program is the Pathways Program. The Pathways Programs is SWINs priority program. It was created to further the sporting journeys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through assistance with the costs of competing, which can often exempt families from being able to send their young people to competition. This program provides pathways for young people to travel the state to represent their communities at regional and state level sporting competitions.
The outcomes from this program include increased Indigenous representation in sport, health and fitness for Indigenous youth, rise in confidence and pride for the young person, their family and their community.
Could you see SWIN traveling to other states in Australia?
Yes, it’s such a great program and has great outcomes for Indigenous communities. It would need to be adapted for the different communities but would be a valuable program for young people who otherwise would not be exposed to such programs.
Baseball Queensland would like to congratulate Nick Bachono on his involvement with SWIN; keep updated on further information on Baseball Queensland’s website.