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All-star cast heads to Wiluna

Jessica van Beijnum  August 10, 2017 12:00 PM

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Rick the Rock and James Grabski address Wiluna Remote Community School students

The West Coast Eagles and Wirrpanda Foundation ventured to Wiluna to touch base with some of its most passionate regional fans last month.

West Coast Eagles schools and community coordinators James Grabski and Bradd Dalziell helped Wirrpanda Foundation founder David Wirrpanda and leadership program manager Troy Cook deliver the organisation’s award-winning Wirra Schools’ program to Wiluna Remote Community School students.

They also introduced the children to the club’s Eagles Rock My School program and the ever-popular West Coast mascot Rick the Rock.

The all-star group kicked off their visit with a whole-school assembly and barbecue, which was followed by an Eagles Rock My School presentation, where Grabski educated the cohort about the value of goal setting, active lifestyles, resilience and the importance of school attendance.

After the presentation, the students, their parents and staff headed to the oval to participate in a range of football skills sessions.

Grabski said the students were excited to engage in a variety of educational and football activites throughout the visit.

“The students were engaged and exceptionally receptive to the messages we delivered,” he said.

“The school does a terrific job working with the students and their families to achieve educational outcomes and are well supported by Wirrpanda Foundation staff, who play an important role in the community.”

Wirra Schools is a remote school attendance strategy program run at Wiluna Remote Community School, which is aimed at improving school attendance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Wiluna-based staff engage local community members and services to work together to overcome barriers to regular school attendance by facilitating rewards-based visits from Wirrpanda Foundation mentors, sporting competitions, hosting community events and supporting families with daily responsibilities.

In an effort to broaden the reach of the club’s education programs, Grabski and Dalziell also accompanied by Wirrpanda and Cook in their visits to Leinster Community School, Leonora District High School and Menzies Community School before delivering the Eagles Rock My School program to a number of schools within the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region at the end of the week-long trip.