Western Desert women become level 1 softball coach and umpires
The first two days of July saw Ngurra Kujungka and Newcrest Mining hold its first female sports training program in four years. The training program took part over two days and provided participants with level one coaching and umpiring qualifications. Accredited coach and umpire Milosa Jackson travelled to Telfer as a Softball WA representative to deliver the training program. Day one was focused on skill development with participants encouraged to coach team mates and children in their home community with the correct techniques to decrease the risk of injury and improve performance. Regular practical sessions were undertaken as an opportunity for the women to put in to practise what they were learning
Day two focused on softball umpiring which caught the attention of all participants. It wasn’t long before questions arose about various scenarios. The women were excited to learn more about Softball rules to improve the Western Desert League competition.
The softball training program was delivered prior to round two of Ngurra Kujungka’s Western Desert League. The goal of this was to provide females with the skills, theory and confidence to put in to practise at the festival what they learnt during the softball training. To fit in with the vision of Ngurra Kujungka becoming a community driven football league Martu males were encouraged to take on leadership roles in coaching and umpiring their own football games. The Martu females however have previously relied on Ngurra Kujungka staff or softball WA representatives to fulfil these roles in softball.
It was very exciting to see the participants put what they learnt in to practise at the Nullagine festival. One participant in particular, Bernice Fred was the first ever Martu female to plate umpire a softball game. Indigenous sport development officer Ebony said “It was great to see that Bernice had the confidence and ability to control an entire softball game”. Female sports training programs will be scheduled in the future to ensure communities that could not attend the first training dates have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge also.