Things Were Heating Up in Harts Range! – Remote N.T.



Harts Range School, Alcoota School and Bonya School

That time of year had arrived again, as Dr Garry Tester and his team; Jordan De Leo & James Durack, packed their bags and embarked on a four-day trip to the Northern Territory. Our destination this time was Harts Range School, a 2-hour drive North-east of Alice Springs, where an activity-filled three-day program awaited them.

The program commenced on Monday morning, with neighbouring schools Alcoota and Bonya driving up for the day to partake in some of Sports Challenge’s fun-filled activities. Despite the warm 29 degrees weather, the kids were still eager and excited to start the fitness testing. The students were put to the test in seven different tasks, displaying a wide variety of ability with a core focus on personal bests.

After the testing was complete, both Alcoota and Bonya students partook in a Goal-Setting session led by Jordan and James. The students were shown motivating videos on Cyril Rioli’s life journey, before completing a goal-setting worksheet and getting a chance to make their own cut-out figures. The target of the session was to help the students identify their dream, the steps which need to be implemented to achieve their aspirations and the people who can help them get there. It was a very beneficial lesson, with all students coming away with something to strive towards. The day concluded with some enjoyable team-based games, where it was great to see all the schools getting along, before Alcoota and Bonya schools departed back to their community. We would like to thank Craig Watkins and Solina Delacruz for their hard work in organising and bringing the kids up for the day.

Tuesday morning commenced with a warm-up and some daily PE led by Garry, Jordan and James. A wide array of stretches and some dancing made for a good start to the morning. A special mention must go to Eve Sargent for discovering these engaging and interactive dance videos, as they were a huge success throughout the program. It was then time for the team to administer the skill testing, which aimed at identifying the students’ abilities and analysing their ball skills and Ed gym capabilities. Overall, we were very impressed with their gymnastic skills and this should be reflected in their results. The skill testing concluded and the students moved straight into some fun fitness games run by Senior Mentor James. A variation of flinch ball, fruit salad and poison ball had the kids exhausted and ready for lunch.

After lunch, the students partook in an educational Diet and Nutrition session run by the SCA crew. The session started off with listening to Sam’s Sandwich book, before watching a short video and colouring in some fun worksheets. Ms Caroline Brennan-Tucker then topped off the session by providing the students with a lovely platter of fresh fruit to taste.  Overall, the kids had a blast learning about healthy eating and identifying a healthier lifestyle. Once school had finished, Garry treated the boys to a drive to a former Mica mining site some 20kms from the community. It was highly informative and even gave the boys a chance to hike some of the spectacular cliffs Harts Range has to offer.

Wednesday morning commenced with a specialised soccer session run by Jordan. The students were eager to learn the rules and the Sports Challenge crew were more than happy to help. This led to a modified game being played, with the girls coming out victorious and outscoring the boys 3-2. We were very impressed with how quickly the students picked up the game and the level of skill they demonstrated.

An activity packed session was planned for the rest of the day, with all classes combining to form three teams and participate in a mini-Olympics. The three teams were led by each of the three Sports Challenge coaches, with their competitive sides starting to come out. The Olympics began with a basketball shootout, before going into a bean bag relay and followed up by a Frisbee Rings of Olympiad. The scores were tight going into the final activity, where the students were to be put to the test in an AFL Goal Kicking competition. Some impressive goal kicking was executed, however the team led by Garry came out victorious in the end. It was a thrilling conclusion, to an overall fantastic program.

To top off the amazing program, the team were treated to a delicious lamb roast dinner from Caroline and her sister Jennifer. A splendid night filled with laughter, great food and even better company. Special thanks go to Principal Edward Duffill and Caroline Brennan-Tucker for their hard work in organising the logistics of the trip and their helpfulness throughout our stay. We look forward to coming back next time.