The Commonwealth Games have well and truly wrapped up on the Gold Coast, with Australia finishing with 198 medals. Medal wins aside, the games brought out another positive which the National Mining Services team are proud of.
During the lead up to the games, its likely most of us would have turned on the news and seen coverage of the Queen’s baton relay making its way through Australia on its final leg to the Gold Coast. The people carrying the baton are a mix of youngsters to some of Australia’s most accomplished legends, as well as some worthy everyday Australians. These people have been selected to be a part of history.
Shining a light on one of the everyday Australians, Natalie from our team had the honour of being a baton bearer, and her story as to why she was selected is one we wanted to share.
“I was nominated as a baton bearer by a mother of one of the Netball girls I coached. Her struggles are very real just like any teenagers, but I was able to help her and get her to love being a part of something.”
Natalie is one of our Plant Clerks based on-site near Moranbah QLD. Originally from Melbourne, she moved to Moranbah 5 years ago and instantly noticed there was a lack of team sports in the town that catered for young girls, that’s when she came up with a plan to start a junior Netball team.
“I started putting together a plan and put the word out on our local Community Facebook page on who may be interested in joining. I became the Junior Coordinator for the Moranbah Netball Association and basically ran my own show. We had so much talent in our little town, but it just needed to be tweaked. This was also a good opportunity to get my daughter back into playing the sport she loves too.”
Forty young netballers quickly expanded into 80, and then all of a sudden there were over 200 girls across different age groups in the competition. Natalie further expanded the movement by organising regional carnivals to allow the girls to compete against other clubs as well as in school competitions. This even spurred the local schools to bring in a Netball development program.
“We were invited to attend the Disney International Netball Tour, to play against countries from all over the world. For a whole year I got the girls involved with volunteering to raise money for our trip. So with this, we had put up our hands to volunteer our time to help other fundraising events within our community too. By doing this, it teaches our girls to be selfless, to think of others that are in a worse situation than us and to always give back to the community.”
“Fundraising activities also gives them life skills that they can take with them wherever they go, especially once they start working. When they have this confidence off the court, it helps them on the court.”
Its common knowledge that team sports are good for kids for physical activity but Natalie found that the sport also helped with mental health.
“A lot of girls that I couch have fought some personal demons such as self-confidence, anxiety and depression and for some reason, I was able to reach them through coaching and teaching them to love themselves and not search for acceptance through others. Netball is a wonderful sport and a vehicle that can be used as a tool to teach many things, especially for empowering young woman in sports.”
We wanted to share this rare ‘behind the scenes’ story from an event which will now be in history. Natalie has made such an impact on her local community, it’s understandable why she was selected for the honour. The whole team at National Mining Services is extremely proud of her dedication and achievements and is looking to help support Natalie’s initiative to ensure the netball community continues to help these young girls.