The Eagles recently touched down in Newman – in the first role model visit under a new Youth Engagement partnership with BHP.

This partnership focusses primarily on youth engagement and role model visits to regional communities, allowing West Coast the opportunity to further support existing community and youth engagement programs in Newman and Port Hedland.

After arriving in Newman, West Coast supported the Newman Futures school holiday program, which included a football clinic led by star AFLW midfielder Kellie Gibson.

Gibson spent the afternoon teaching a diverse crowd of over 55 excitable children a range of fundamental football skills – including handballing, kicking and marking – before moving into some small-sided games.

The session culminated in a mindfulness session that encouraged the participants to re-connect with their bodies and their environment.

The West Coast Eagles later attended the ‘Education Futures Lab’ which saw students focus on skill development of a different kind including robotics and augmented reality, delivered by Firetech.

From there, the Eagles team drew a huge crowd to Newman Police’s Nightfields program, running a small skills session before involving more than 40 children (and plenty of adults) in a sunset community football match to round out an action-packed first day.

West Coast also further engaged with the Newman community the following day – through a similar vein of AFL-related activities in the morning – followed by a Youth Centre Engagement session with basketballs and scooters providing a mix-up from football.

Newman Futures Project Manager and Creating Communities Pilbara Lead, Jess Barker, commended the efforts brought about from the West Coast community team, and BHP.

“The West Coast Eagles Community and Game Development Squad’s collaboration with the East Newman Activation Program was an incredible experience for the Newman community,” she said.

“The kids had so much fun participating in all the drills and learning new skills from the team.

“It really highlighted the benefits of a collaborative approach in bringing a community together through sport, and we’re really grateful to BHP for helping to bring this role model visit to fruition.”

West Coast Eagles’ Manager of Education and Regional Programs James Grabski was also pleased with the outcomes from this first visit under the Youth Engagement partnership with BHP.

“It was fantastic to be back in the Newman community, along with some great role models from our AFLW and community and game development programs,” he said.

“The feedback from the local partners we supported was that not only were attendance numbers increased at the community events, but importantly the engagement levels were enhanced through our involvement – which is a core objective under our Youth Engagement Partnership with BHP.

“There are some amazing local organisations offering great programs, events and activities in the Newman community, and we cannot wait to further our collaborative approach to supporting our shared objectives of providing meaningful education and active lifestyle opportunities for youth in the region.