A Sunny Success at South Hedland Primary School


With Hillary’s the furthest North Sports Challenge’s newest mentor Nick Ambrogio had previously travelled, the trip to Port Hedland was quite a new experience for him. Accompanying him on the trip to South Hedland Primary School were experienced campaigners Dr. Garry Tester (CEO Sports Challenge Australia) and Jordan De Leo (Programs Coordinator), for what was to be another exceptional program.

SCA Coaches Jordan De Leo & Nick Ambrogio with South Hedland Primary School Students

On arrival, the boys were treated to a scenic drive by South Hedland Primary School’s principal Daryl Mansfield, who showed them all that Port Hedland had to offer, as well as taking them to a nice fishing spot to display the pleasant and tranquil lifestyle of the locals. Although it was a bite less afternoon with only a few nibbles on the rods, it was an enjoyable way to wind down and prepare themselves for an exciting few days ahead.

The first day of the program was as pleasant as the last, with Jordan and Nick going through a routine warm-up with the students, before they began their fitness testing. The focus of the testing this year was to achieve personal bests and encourage all students to improve on their scores from last year.  It became quickly evident that these students were up for the challenge, as classmates pushed each other to jump a little longer and motivated one another to run a little further. This teamwork was a breath of fresh air, and credit must go to everyone involved at South Hedland Primary School for enabling this fantastic culture to occur. It was even great to see some of the teachers getting involved with the testing themselves, after seeing how much fun their students were having.

SCA Coach Nick Ambrogio Leading the 12 minute Run

Another significant motive to this year’s trip was to impart the students with some more knowledge of diet and nutrition and educate them about the importance of healthy eating. The diet and nutrition sessions were a great success with the students partaking in a wide variety of food-based activities that aimed at identifying the differences between proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. The benefits of these sessions were evident at Recess & Lunch, as students began running up to the SCA coaches with their food and identifying to us which of the four food groups they were eating. It was fantastic to see they were learning so quickly, and a greater emphasis on their diet & nutrition will be a focus in our next trip.

To finish up on the final day, Dr. Garry Tester gave one of his very informative P.D. sessions to the teaching staff.  His linguistic delivery and charisma on the floor made for a valuable P.D. session, which presented the teachers with data comparisons from the previous years and showed all the significant improvements the school had made. These results were well received by the staff, which can only motivate and entail them to continue the great work they have been doing.

South Hedland Primary School Students Participating in the SCA Diet & Nutrition Survey

After lots of laughs, smiles and hard work from the students, there was an infectious buzz around the school that showed signs of another successful program.  A big thanks goes to Daryl Mansfield (Principal), Lee Pereira (Deputy Principal) and Julie Rose (Deputy Principal), along with the rest of the staff for another pleasant trip to the always-sunny Port Hedland. Another exceptional program done and dusted, we look forward to our next trip.