‘Aim high’ was the message.
Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Apunipima Australian Indigenous All Stars Basketball team worked together to deliver healthy lifestyle information and hands-on basketball skills to around 60 Aurukun young people last week as part of the local Police Citizen Youth Club’s School Holiday Program.
The three ‘clinics’, held last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, saw Apunipima All Stars Head Coach Joel Khalu, Apunipima Health Promotion Officer Andrew Packer and Apunipima Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Workers Josh Mene and Jordan Toikalkin talk to the youth of Aurukun about the risks of smoking, benefits of quitting, the importance of attending school and why it matters to make healthy choices.
After the talks, the young people enjoyed a healthy snack and got down to an afternoon of activity, including basketball drills and games.
Joel Khalu, who lead the All Stars to victory over the Maoris in last year’s best of three Trans – Tasman Tournament, said the ‘clinics’ were an opportunity to pass on a serious message in a fun environment.
‘I talked to the participants about my own story – playing basketball, leading teams – and how that has been possible through making healthy choices, such as being active, eating well, and not smoking,’ he said.
‘It was great to talk to them about why it matters to make good choices and the good results that come from resisting what looks easy at the time. Having goals, working towards them, not getting distracted – these are the things that change lives.’
‘Combining healthy lifestyle messages with healthy activities is a great way of not only telling these stories, but actually showing young people what it means to be healthy,’ added Josh.
‘We hope that with the assistance from Joel who coaches the Australian Indigenous All Stars, that it reinforces our key messages and shows these young people that if you live a healthy lifestyle, it can not only benefit you, but be a positive influence on your family and community.’