Pilbara health charity expanding reach in region

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Fair Game chief executive Nicki Bardwell, second from right, and volunteers Jacqueline Taylor, Bella Ndayikeze and Riley Dolman visited Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham for the first time in the charity's seven year history last week in what they hope will become a repeat visit.
Camera IconFair Game chief executive Nicki Bardwell, second from right, and volunteers Jacqueline Taylor, Bella Ndayikeze and Riley Dolman visited Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham for the first time in the charity's seven year history last week in what they hope will become a repeat visit. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

A health promotion charity started in the northern Pilbara seven years ago has made its first visit south to Karratha on a mission to make healthy living fun for local children.

In a five-day trip last week , four volunteers from charity Fair Game ran Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham school-aged children through activities including sports games, health talks, cooking and even yoga to promote positive health messages in a friendly and accessible format.

The first Karratha visit is part of a new plan by the not-for-profit organisation to expand its reach in the region, funded by the Pilbara Development Commission through Royalties for Regions.

Fair Game chief executive Nicki Bardwell said the new funding presented a good opportunity for the group’s volunteers to make a pilot trip to Karratha, Roebourne and Wickham to see what the level of need was and the impact they could have.

“We’ve worked higher up in the Pilbara, and we also do quite a bit across the Mid West, so this trip is sort of filling that gap,” she said.

Fair Game was founded in 2010 by Port Hedland emergency doctor John van Bockxmeer to promote healthy living in underprivileged WA communities through recycled sports equipment, fitness and education, and has since grown into a national organisation.

Since it began, volunteers have been visiting communities in and around the northern Pilbara including Port Hedland Newman, Marble Bar, Jigalong and Nullagine, but have never previously visited Karratha.

Ms Bardwell said the Fair Game program differed from others because it taught children a holistic approach to health and the group hoped it could start building relationships and establishing a presence for the charity in Karratha where it was little-known.

“It’s a mix of recycling sports equipment, so giving people the tools they need to stay active and healthy,” she said.

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