NQ Dry Tropics sponsors ICPA Fit 4 Rural Futures event
NQ Dry Tropics sponsored a sports camp in Charters Towers last week that gave children and parents from rural areas a chance to have fun and make community connections.
Around 135 children, 70 parents and 20 sports coaches participated in the three-day Fit4Rural Futures Sports Camp, run by the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) Charters Towers branch. Activities on offer for the kids included swimming, tennis, rugby, athletics, cricket, dancing, mini acro, art and handball.
In addition, parents had the opportunity to access specialist support usually unavailable in the bush, such as speech therapists and psychologists.
Event coordinator Lynda O’Brien, of The Brook Station, west of Charters Towers, said the camp – now in its 12th year – gave children a chance to develop both sporting and social skills.
“Often the children who attend are from home schools, and they probably don’t get many opportunities to socialise with children other than their brothers and sisters,” Ms O’Brien said.
“So this camp gives them the chance to meet new people, solidify friendships, and learn about what it means to be part of a team, particularly a sporting team.
“They develop self-confidence, sporting skills, and relationships with other people in their community,” she said.
And Ms O’Brien said that NQ Dry Tropics’ funding support was put to good use:
“NQ Dry Tropics’ sponsorship has helped us source highly-qualified coaches, some of whom came up from Brisbane. We wanted to offer camp participants quality and value because they travel so far to get here and they sacrifice a lot to be away from home for three or four days, particularly the parents,” she said.
NQ Dry Tropics Senior Grazing Field Officer Linda Anderson said supporting resilient rural communities was a key focus for the natural resource management group.
“Most people associate NQ Dry Tropics with the grants, training and on-ground environmental rehabilitation works it offers to landholders,” Ms Anderson said.
“While our projects intrinsically link us to landscapes, we place equal value on supporting our local farming families and the wider community.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more stress being inflicted on our rural families.
“Being involved with Fit 4 Rural Futures allowed us to participate with our community in building the personal strength and resilience of the ICPA kids attending, and help isolated rural parents connect with each other.
“NQ Dry Tropics is proud to support community events such as this because it helps build resilient and sustainable rural communities,” Ms Anderson said.