Almost 18 months of preparation, fundraising and planning came to fruition with yet another successful trip to Port Vila, Vanuatu, over the recent school holidays.
All our young men who travelled have a greater understanding now of why there is a need to go, both for themselves and those we serve.
Across the 11 days there was field preparation, officiating of matches, helping young Ni Vans develop their AFL skills, an “evangelical” church service none of us will ever forget (with the Vanuatu President in attendance!), assistance with selection of the U15 National team to play in the Oceania Championships in Fiji this December, working with school children with "Auskick"-style clinics, donation of an enormous amount of gear through money raised, and even some recreation time!
This year, for the first time, four Flinders University students were integrated into the trip as a part of their own university courses, in a combined Concordia/Flinders undertaking. They did all the same things as our group but had the added responsibility of acting in mentoring roles with the lads. The “new” format worked a treat and their involvement added enormously to the trip. In a further bonus, part of the preparatory work for the uni students was to get involved with the coaching programs here at Concordia, so football and basketball benefitted during the most recent winter season of school sport.
The supervisors, Nigel Grivell, Mike Arnoul (dads of boys on the trip) and Deb Agnew (Flinders liaison) combined wonderfully across various roles and proved to be a great support for the boys and I. In particular, I congratulate the boys for being such great ambassadors for the College and Australia while doing so much for people they did not previously know!
Head of PE/Football Outreach Vanuatu Coordinator