The Bull Sharks knew their First Nations tour would make an impact on the Southwest Queensland communities they visited. The surprise was the profound impact it had on themselves.
The Bull Sharks netballers took a TikTok detox last week when they ventured to the Outback on their Indigenous Southwest tour.
Between the spotty phone service and bright red dirt, it proved to be an eye-opening experience for the women, especially given that Toowoomba was the furthest inland some of them had travelled previously.
Piled into the Bond minibus were Kim Boland, Bec Stowers and six Bull Sharks players as they ventured out bush on a mission to share the gift of sport.
Through the help of the local councils, Deadly Choices, Bond University, and the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health, the Bull Sharks offered three free netball clinics in the communities of Cunnamulla, Quilpie and Charleville.
“They don't get sports clinics or anything like that out there, so being able to help facilitate that for them was just incredible,” Netball Operations Manager Kim Boland said.
“Most of the kids had never played netball before, so the goal for us was to give the kids something fun to do during their holidays and help them to learn some new skills.”
While the Bull Sharks offered their time to provide an experience for the local children, the heartwarming interactions left a lasting impression on the players and the participants.
“To see the faces on the kids light up when they met all our girls was just the most rewarding thing,” Boland said.
“Some of them were shy at first and watched from outside of the courts, but after a while they built up the courage to come inside and they all absolutely loved it.
“I think the most rewarding part was when they found out they got to keep their own t-shirts and netballs. The happiness on their faces was priceless.”
Looking ahead, Bond Netball aims to make this tour an annual event with hopes of expanding its reach.
While this year’s trip covered the Paroo, Quilpie, and Murweh shires, Boland envisions expanding to St George, Roma and local areas including Lismore and Tweed Heads.
Source: Bond University Sport