IT IS WITH great excitement that Warrandyte Primary School (WPS) welcomed its newest staff member — Winston the school therapy dog.
He is here to make a positive difference in our students’ lives and is causing a cuteness overload.
Winston is a playful and endearing puppy who is being trained to become a therapy dog.
This four-legged addition to the school staff aims to enhance the well-being of students, staff, and the broader school community.
Winston is a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, considered one of the best breeds for working in schools.
At WPS, we know that well-being and learning are equally important; students’ mental health is critical to their well-being, enabling them to learn effectively.
With this in mind, School Principal Nieta Manser decided that the benefits of having a therapy dog at WPS were so great that she had to organise one.
By finding ways to support our students’ well-being, we are committed to always getting the best out of our students, and Winston is just one way we can help the children at WPS achieve success.
Well-trained, confident, happy therapy dogs can be an invaluable resource for supporting students’ social and emotional learning and fostering a sense of community spirit.
As a young puppy, Winston has only just begun his training, but he has got off to an excellent start.
Nieta, as his primary handler, has started taking Winston to puppy training classes, where he receives obedience training.
After this, he will have specific training related to a variety of situations, including supporting students feeling anxious, being taught tricks to do in the classroom to build engagement, and providing support for particular issues that schools regularly face, such as school refusal or de-regulation of students.
Winston will even support our literacy program, as students can take turns reading to him to practice their fluency.
We think Winston will love hearing stories read to him each day.
We have teamed up with Service and Therapy Animals Australia to launch the PAWS in Schools program at Warrandyte Primary School.
The company is connected to Service Dogs Australia and ensures the program adheres to strict standards and that Winston’s needs are also being met.
PAWS is an acronym that is easy to remember and encompasses the key components of a successful School Therapy Dog program:
Positive interactions Assess, adapt, achieve Working together Social inclusion
Winston is adapting well to school life and enjoys spending time with the staff, who have bonded with him quickly.
As expected, the children have been extremely excited to meet Winston, too, patiently waiting for their turn.
Students in Prep first had a glimpse of Winston through Nieta’s office window; not wanting to overwhelm him, teachers took the children to wave and admire from a distance.
It wasn’t long before Winston was brave enough to visit the Prep classroom and even came for a training session while students were engaged in their inquiry maths lesson.
The sight of children giggling as Winston eagerly wags his tail when they visit the school office and the quiet moments when he sits alongside a student who needs a comforting presence have already become regular occurrences at Warrandyte Primary School.
In Winston, the school has found a loyal companion dedicated to fostering well-being, resilience, and happiness in its students.
Ella in Prep agrees. “I love having Winston at school.
“He is my favourite breed of dog.
“I can’t take my eyes off him!”
Jarrah, in Grade 5, is also smitten.
“I love having Winston at school because when I see his little face, I want to hug him.
“He is adorable, and he loves his toy llama.
“I think he will be really good at helping students when they are sad, as well as encouraging us with our learning.”
It is easy to see how Winston will be able to positively impact the lives of the students at WPS, and we are excited to explore how proven animal-assisted learning strategies and techniques can be incorporated into our existing well-being and intervention programs.
Therapy dogs in schools can also help children build social connections, develop a sense of belonging, and create a context for instilling whole-school values such as empathy, kindness, gratitude, and respect, among other benefits.
The program will be funded partially through fundraising by our Friends of Warrandyte Primary School committee and partially through the Mental Health Fund the school will receive as part of a departmental program to support students’ mental health across all ages.
Grade 3 teacher James loves having Winston around.
“It’s like having an extra staff member who is everyone’s best friend.
“We can already see the benefits for our students and the positive impact Winston is having.”
Winston’s journey towards becoming a certified therapy dog continues, and he is already making a difference in the lives of those he touches.
The students and staff of Warrandyte Primary School eagerly await the day when Winston can officially wear his therapy dog vest and embark on his mission to provide comfort, companionship, and joy to all.
STUDENTS AND TEACHERS at Warrandyte Primary School were excited to officially launch their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this
The school community has been privileged throughout term two to work alongside Aboriginal Elder Arbup Peters and Kira Peters, who
both work for the Victorian Education Department.
Kira is the local Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO), as well as being a primary school teacher herself.
During a whole school assembly, Arbup welcomed everyone to country with a traditional Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung welcome.
He explained how important the welcome is to the Traditional Owners, as they welcome people to their land.
Parent Dione and ex-student Zara Veal attended and spoke during the assembly.
They were both involved in initiating the school’s RAP, which began three years ago when a Grade 5 student wanted to start the process of formally recognising the school’s plans and vision for reconciliation.
Students from the Junior School Council talked about the importance of reconciliation, acknowledging wrongdoing from the past and moving forward to create and develop positive relationships.
They explained how important it is to understand the role Traditional Owners have always had in looking after Country and their special
relationship with the land.
Performances by students of a song entitled Wominjeka, meaning “welcome”, and Kutju Australia, the National Anthem in Luritja, a language of First Nations People from the Northern Territory, was enjoyed by all.
Another visitor was Aunty Loraine, a Taungurung Elder who has written a book entitled Bijil Ba Wudhi Deberra, or Bijil and the Moths.
The story tells of a family going to the High Country during summer, trapping and roasting Bogong moths to eat.
The people used the stars to tell them when to go and Songlines to give directions, singing instructions as they travelled.
Aunty Loraine talked about some of her work developing language resources and preserving Aboriginal languages for present and future
One of the highlights for many attending was the performance by the world-renowned didgeridoo musician, Ganga Giri.
Ganga is a rhythmic didgeridoo virtuoso and percussionist, originally from Tasmania, whose passion and infectious energy had everyone joining in with animal actions and clapping rhythms.
Principal Nieta Manser concluded the assembly by saying how proud she is to be a part of this, especially to be present, as this was the first time we raised all three flags on our new flagpoles; Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Australian.
Scan the QR codes (right) to view Arbup’s moving Welcome to Country
and the Raising of the Three Flags and Dione and Zara’s speech on WPS’s commitment to Reconciliation.
Warrandyte local produces first book in Taungurung and English
Aunty Loraine with Matt Burns, CEO of the Taungurung Land and Waters Council
LORAINE PADGHAM, a long time Warrandyte local, has written a children’s book in the Taungurung
language, with English translation.
The Taungurung people, of which Loraine is a member, live on and care for the land in central Victoria.
Their territory commences at the Great Dividing Range and encompasses the land on which the towns of Yea, Alexandra, Mansfield,
Kilmore and Broadford now stand. Bijil Ba Wudhi Deberra (Bijil and the Moths) tells the story of a young Taungurung boy who accompanies his parents on their annual adventurous trip to the high plains in summer to participate in cultural activities, renew friendships with other clan members and to harvest Bogong moths.
The book had its first public reading at Warrandyte Primary School as part of their activities recognising and celebrating Aboriginal culture, where it was received with great interest from the children present.
The book includes a QR code that enables the reader to listen to the story read in Taungurung.
Copies of the book can be purchased from the Taungurung website, taungurung.com.au
STUDENTS, parents, and teachers alike were delighted when it was announced that Nieta Manser, the current Acting Principal at Warrandyte Primary School (WPS), is to be appointed as their substantive Principal.
After undergoing a formal recruitment process, School Council President, David Wells, announced the great news to the school community.
As the new Principal, Ms Manser will continue the work she has been undertaking since she took the Acting role at the beginning of 2021.
Nieta is a passionate educator and leader who uses her teaching and leadership experiences as the springboard for the work she undertakes at WPS.
She is a fervent believer in building a team of educators who excel; supporting staff as they become involved in new initiatives and Professional Development.
As an advocate for Literacy, when arriving at Warrandyte Primary at the beginning of 2021 as the Acting Principal, she began a campaign to get high-quality texts into the classroom for teachers and students to use during their Literacy block.
The drive was so successful the school was able to purchase over 150 books across all age groups.
These texts are known as “mentor texts” that can be used to teach reading and writing strategies to students as they learn what good readers and writers do.
The push for more books in the classroom is also part of a schoolwide shift to promoting student voice and agency in the classroom.
“Students should be able to read quality literature from texts of their choice when practising their reading goals and apply the strategies taught in the lesson,” said Nieta.
In 2020 Nieta joined the Northeast Victorian Regional office as an Education Improvement Leader for Inner East schools, working with
school leaders to build staff capacity to deliver improved student outcomes.
She brings with her all the knowledge that she gained in this role and has begun to drive an agenda that complements and builds on
the current practices at the school, including the application of the ten High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) that are proven to improve
She regularly leads staff development and training, and has an ongoing commitment to creating a culture where students and teachers are all
working together towards excellence.
“Our new instructional model sets clear roles for the teacher, the student and the peers in the classroom and supports explicit teaching, student voice and differentiation,” said Nieta.
It is not just the pedagogical knowledge that Nieta is known for around the school.
Anyone working with her knows that she strongly believes that wellbeing and academia are equally important.
After two very disruptive years for students, families and teachers, this will continue to be a focus for Nieta as she becomes the substantive
“Recovery from a difficult time is a big consideration this year,” she said.
Having attended Warrandyte Primary School herself, Nieta says she is thrilled to be able to give back to the community that instilled a strong
sense of community in her.
“Warrandyte Primary has a strong history and connection to our broader community.
“In many ways, it still reminds me of how things were when I was a student here, but Warrandyte Primary is anything but the small country school I went to.
“Our teachers have a very strong pedagogical knowledge and are passionate about their students achieving positive outcomes,” said Nieta.
She believes the students get the best of both worlds at WPS.
“The open spaces, strong cross-age relationships and of course the iconic Bushband are all still here, but when the students are in the classroom, they get to work with their teachers towards achieving their learning goals,” said Nieta.
Dave Wells, President of the WPS School Council, congratulated Nieta on her appointment.
“Nieta is to be congratulated — she submitted an outstanding application and her interview with the council was a delight.”
“Of course, Nieta is well known to the school having been interim Principal throughout last year.
“We would like to thank her for the wonderful work to date and congratulate her on being appointed to the role.
Nieta, we are very proud of our school and proud to have you leading it,” he says.
WARRANDYTE’S own snowboarding legend has been pipped at the post in his run for a Gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
He was a favourite for Gold after recently bringing home the goods from the X-Games in January.
James entered the final in second position and was hopeful of taking the top honour.
After a stumble on the first run put him in 10th position, a blistering second run, with a score of 92.5 gave him the lead going into the all- important final run.
“We are lost for words right now, but we knew that was going to be an improvement — forget the rest, we have the best with Scotty James,” the lead commentator said.
When he couldn’t best it in his final run, it was down to the final competitor, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano as the only one who could beat him for the prize.
Scotty still had gold in his sights, while spectators held their breath as the Japanese rider pulled out a spectacular performance and snatching the Gold with a 96.0.
James now adds an Olympic Silver medal to the Bronze he took home from Pyeong Chang in 2018 and says he has his sights set for Gold in Milan to complete the set.
He farewelled his long-time rival, Shaun White, for whom these games are his swansong.
In a post-event interview with Channel 7, James said: “I have had such a great time here in Beijing.
“This has been such a special Winter Games.
“This guy [White] is very, very special”.
He labelled White the Greatest of All Time.
“To Shaun, obviously huge respect to him — the guy is the GOAT… it’s been incredible to be here with you.
White then praised James’ silver- medal-winning run: “Crushed it! I was seeing the switch back doubles to the deck … I was like, come on!
“You are just crushing them effortlessly — to see you throwing down is just awesome.”
Then Warrandyte’s hero asked his rival for support in his campaign to compete in 2026, saying: “If you have the time, I have one more medal I need — if you want to help.”
White laughed as he replied: “I will back you!”
And rest assured, so will Warrandyte.
Students show their support for a local hero By CLAIRE LAMBERT WARRANDYTE PRIMARY School (WPS) sports teacher Sally Freemantle was thrilled when Channel 7 contacted her, asking students at WPS to be filmed showing their support of snowboarder Scotty James in the Winter Olympics.
Students were eager to get behind this and excitedly prepared banners and streamers to wave to remind Scotty that his hometown was behind him every step of the way to Olympic glory!
Photographs of the students made it to the official Australian Olympic Team Facebook Page and appeared on the Channel 7 coverage of the Winter
Olympics and Sunrise.
It was a fantastic experience that all students enjoyed being a part of and a great introduction for most of our students to the sport of Snowboarding.
Warrandyte’s annual festival kicked off last month with popular evening events, Warrandyte Film Feast and Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Art Show.
The festival celebrated the town’s hallmark qualities over the weekend of March 22–24 via the theme “Stars of Warrandyte”.
Saturday’s trademark Grand Parade was filled with firefighters, councillors in classic cars, floats adorned
with superstars, theatre nuts blowing bubbles, community bank benefactors holding big cheques and
A star-studded cast came out with props and colourful costumes.
Sporting clubs, IGA apples, Ringwood RSL rat-a-tat-tatters, ultimate martial artists in full spin, Neighbourhood House knits, an old Dodge, a young Billycarter, Arty Farty umbrellas, the honourable Ryan Smith all fired up about Fireball…
Variety Bash “Benzey” — now there’s a star! Sixteen Variety Bashes throughout Australia, raising money for children’s charity.
Giant ducks, mountain bikes, Dylan’s trike (made at school from recycled materials), CFA pumpers, scouts getting about — and all this to the shout of Town Crier Ian Craig.
Commentators kept it entertaining, even trotting out a joke or two: “These ducks look like they have their eyes covered, but actually… they’re Peking ducks!”
Rain made a half-hearted attempt to dampen enthusiasm but never really had a chance.
You see, for locals, nothing speaks to community pride more than Warrandyte Festival.
This year, the town clocked up 43 straight festival runs, thanks to a committed band of volunteers who continue to come up with ideas and the gusto to see them through.
A week earlier, organisers were told by Manningham Council that due to safe food-handling regulations, the Kid’s Market would not be able to sell baked goods — staples for these stalls, really, but rules are rules.
Families were notified and organisers feared the worst: dozens of disappointed children and parents, doing their buns and pulling out.
But, that is not the Warrandyte way.
A prize-winning number of stalls were registered — 70, in fact.
One young stallholder said it best: “We just ate all our cakes and made pet rocks instead!”
Kids’ Market organiser Grace Johnstone told the Diary that many interesting ideas were presented on the day, but it was “Warrandyte’s spirit of cooperation that was truly on show”.
Taking the cake, for mine, was a repurposed duck-race duck —complete with potted plant — “Hugh Quackman”.
Sunday’s Billycart Derby action drew a few choice words from parade monarch and motorcycle racing champ Cameron Donald, who helped out on the mike.
Cam’s commentary skills were tested — a minor stack, a false start and several finishes that looked too close to call — but he came through unscathed. Phew!
Meanwhile, on the Main Stage, the smooth countrified vocals of local performer Jo Pearson and the Pearl River Ramblers set up a further flow of excellence from Sydney’s alternative Country combo The April Family, dirtgirl and Mother Earth.
Fabulous Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac and feisty Janis Joplin tributes followed on.
A day earlier, Riverbank Stage audiences had kept pace with drumming sensation African Star, before local bands Velvet Lounge and Riffmasters chilled things down to create a relaxed vibe.
In a new move, festival organisers brought Friday night’s three-hour Battle of the Bands (BOB) to the Main Stage on Saturday.
Applause for first-time festival volunteer Opal Gough.
It was a huge hit, giving young acts the opportunity to play primetime on a stage that has seen local bands like The Teskey Brothers and The Scrims go on to achieve success further afield.
Among others, bass player for The Teskeys, Brendon Love, stepped up as a Battle judge, offering the young players valuable feedback and advice.
Also helpful was Ben Dennis, (ex BOB organiser and manager of award-winning Australian electronic music duo Peking Duk) who generously produced 12 tickets to an upcoming Peking Duk concert as an event prize.
Ethical Decimal, a four-piece all-girl band from Castlemaine Secondary College, won the competition overall.
Gozleme, crepes, salted caramel ice cream, those little pancakes that everyone loves, a giant spring roll — I couldn’t decide among some fab food choices this year, so tried them all — in one afternoon.
A good thing St John’s Mobile CPR Learning Lab was on standby.
A lifesaving initiative to build resilience by training more people in CPR, 12-year-old visitor from Shepparton Tom Di Petta did the training:
“It was fun and the instructions were clear, I learned CPR in 10 minutes.”
Tom looked very keen to practice his newfound techniques, (at the time we spoke I was slowly sagging under the weight of Polish dumplings and lychee infused beer!)
Later, lighting genius Hugh McSpedden boosted the night sky and transformed trees around the Main Stage with creative images.
But, stars eventually fade from view.
And just like that, another Warrandyte Festival slipped by like a wet child on a giant water slide…
If you lost your mind over Hugh’s light show, the Information Caravan has it and some other things as well! Watches, hats, mats and multiple pieces of Tupperware with the name Carla Thompson on them: contact Carolyn on 0411 789 922 with lost property enquiries.
Main Stage music medley
By IAN CRAIG
WHILE THE day started with the weather raining on our parade it ended with a twilight battle of the bands in Stiggants Reserve in what could only be described as a very pleasant and balmy evening.
Sitting in my favourite camping chair enjoying a pint of Kellybrook Ale, this sure was a good idea to hijack my wife Jo’s Warrandyte Diary assignment.
“You just keep working on your other writing assignments I will do this one for you,” says I, ha-ha, all part of my cunning plan.
With Greg Champion MC’ing the night and surrounded by three to four hundred fellow festivillians it was a pleasant night indeed.
As Greg Champion said to me when I asked him about the night, “The Battle of the Bands has brought more people in then our band … be young or die”.
Don’t take it personally Greg.
The competition started in the 80s with the back of a tray truck for the stage in the middle of the footy oval.
After a number of moves it has finally made it to the main stage and judging by the crowd it is there to stay.
The idea behind Battle of the Bands is that young aspiring musicians get a chance to demonstrate their creative “musicality” (I don’t know what that means but the judges told me that’s one of things they were looking for) in front of a good audience and the judges score them on the things that musically talented people look for in an up and coming band.
The judges are no slouches in this field with Fiona Steel (half of the indie folk duo GraceJean and session artist), Brendan Love (from Warrandyte’s own The Teskey Brothers), Joseph Dwyer (Moring After Girls), Fossa (Melbourne based Hip Hop Producer) and Kain Hardie (musician and music journalist).
Fiona told me she was, “looking for overall musicality, interaction with each other, interaction with crowd”.
I asked if it brought back memories for her.
“Yeah it does actually … I did a few of them when I was younger … it’s interesting being on the other side.”
Of course the audience got in on the act with the people’s award voted through the event page on Facebook.
Nice touch although there was a lot of voting happening before some of the acts even hit the stage, go friends.
Acts included Reborn Rebellion, Dead Pig, C-K-H, In The Works, Bleached and Blessed, Ethical Decimal, Suzi and Space Goats.
The winner of first prize (a full day of recording at Jet Studios) was Ethical Decimal, a young all female band from Castlemaine Secondary College.
Runners up were a young solo act, Suzi Yaghmoor from Mornington Peninsula and Dead Pig from Park Orchards.
First timer organiser Opal Gough, joined the Warrandyte Festival Committee in November last year.
“I think the kids were great,” said Opal, “they’ve pulled in an amazing crowd … that was really good support for them.”
Well done to Opal, her assistants and the committee for a great night, we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment and the beautiful evening.
Blast into Warrandyte’s past
By JAMES POYNER
THE WEATHER was glorious for the Hanson’s annual Sunday afternoon Gold Mine Tour and a group of around 50 people made their way up to the top of Webb Street for this Festival highlight.
Entry to the tour is free, with a small donation requested to raise money for Oxfam’s Walk Against Want, which raises money to assist women in developing countries who have to walk tens of kilometres each day to fetch fresh water.
The tours have been running since 1978 and up until recently were run by John Hanson himself.
But 42 years is a long time to run Gold Mine tours and these days, John has passed the baton on to his children; Peter, Jenny and Christine.
But before we headed off on our tour with Jenny and Christine, John gave the group potted history of gold mining in Warrandyte and the popularity of the tour.
“Typical gold country has three different types of eucalypt, red box, long leaf box and red stringy bark and often if they saw those sorts of trees [the miners] would think there is gold in the area,” he said.
“In some years, I had 200 people turn up, I borrowed a loud-hailer and off we went, but with 200 people, it was pretty slow.
“One year I decided to split it into two groups, 1pm and 3pm — 1pm 35 turned up, 3pm 150 turned up so I went back to just one time,” he said.
A short, bushy walk through the Hanson’s property and we reconvene at the top of Tunnel Street where Jenny begins the official tour.
Jenny explains there are two types of gold found in Warrandyte, alluvial gold and gold found in quartz seams.
Alluvial gold was panned in the creeks and the Yarra and our tour would involve a walk down the hill to Andersons Creek to visit the cairn where gold was first found in Warrandyte.
But before that, Jenny took us to Forth Hill Gold Mine where the group could get a feel for what it was like to be in one of these mines, even if nowadays, people can only walk 10 metres inside the old mine.
Jenny’s knowledge of the mine is impressive and it is enthralling to watch her map out the layout of the mine in the dirt.
A lot of this knowledge extends from previous decades, before the mine was closed to the public when she was able to explore the network of mines around Warrandyte.
With public safety paramount, access to the mines is prohibited and we have to use our imagination as Jenny imparts history and personal experience.
The second, and last, stop on our tour is to the Gold Memorial cairn, on Gold Memorial Road.
“This is the spot where they first found gold in Victoria, in 1851”.
An exciting statement and given the regions history with gold mining, really helps place Warrandyte in Australian history.
“Louis Michel came here with a party of four who were panning in this creek and found a few specks of gold…that then started the gold rush in Warrandyte.
“They had sections of the creek, it was tent city for about five kilometres, between here and what is now Ringwood.
To add an extra pinch of excitement to the tour, descendants of Louis Michel, his great-great-great-grand-daughter and her children were on the tour.
Living in Eltham, it is fascinating to see that Warrandyte’s gold history still maintains a local connection.
With the tour torch successfully handed to his children, it looks like the Gold Mine Tour will be around for the next 42 years, we only scratched the surface of Warrandyte’s mining history but with the knowledgeable Hanson’s at the helm, I look forward to learning more about the history of Warrandyte’s gold mines in years to come.
A tail-wagging success
By CLAIRE BLOOM
THE PET SHOW is a long standing fixture of the Warrandyte Festival.
I can’t recall exactly when it started, but I suspect I have MC’d this event for more than 30 years.
And a wonderful and heart warming number of decades it has been.
This year, we again had sponsorship from the Warrandyte Veterinary Clinic who provided some wonderful hampers for the prestigious Best in Show Award.
This year’s big winner being a gorgeous spoodle puppy named Monty.
Other prizes included the Most Unusual Pet, going to a pigeon pair of ferrets (oops maybe don’t mention the pigeons.)
The usual categories such as Dog Most Like its Owner (loved the couple of Wonder Women.) and Shaggiest and Waggiest dogs were lots of fun.
The Loudest Dog in Warrandyte was ear piercing and won by a most vocal fox terrier.
This little rascal’s name is suppressed in case the Dog Ranger gets any ideas.
Well, not really, but it was certainly a noisy little dog.
Of course, Best Trained Dog always excites our imagination, Big Boy Bosley seems to have a new trick each year, and was happy to play dead when his Mum shot him (with her index finger, of course).
Molly, another spoodle, was most attentive as her trainer placed a treat on both front paws, and waited for the command to eat.
I thought I might try this with my black lab, but it’s never going to happen.
Overall, lots of bragging rights as most dogs (and the ferrets) managed to excel at something, including Dog with the Most Appealing Eyes or Best Groomed Dog in Warrandyte.
A big thanks to Judges, WHS Principal Dr Stephen Parkin and Warrandyte Vet nurse, Kimberley and their assistants Mrs Suzanne Martin and Bree.
Every year, members of the Over 60s Warrandyte cricket team volunteer their time at the two local primary schools to teach students some batting, bowling and fielding skills.
This year, Steve Pascoe, Barry Johnson, John Smith, Norm Darnfield and Ray Baird coached students in the Foundation, Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes at Warrandyte Primary School with a series of Milo cricket drills.
“The veteran cricketers are really entertaining and very enthusiastic about their sport,” said PE teacher Sally Freemantle.
“The students always love it when they visit — it’s a very popular event at school every year,” she said. Steve Pascoe has been involved as a player at Warrandyte Cricket Club since 1976.
He and his team of veterans also run the Milo cricket program at the club, and they’re always on the lookout for new recruits during their school visits. “Milo Cricket is a great initiative,” Ms. Freemantle added.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for children to learn basic ball skills and it’s a gentle introduction to a team sport. “Getting children involved in sports, especially team sports, is so important.
“There are some very important life skills to be learnt by being part of a sporting team, as well as the health and fitness benefits,” she said.
This year the Milo IN2CRICKET program begins at WCC on Friday November 3 at 6pm and is open to boys and girls aged 5–8. Sessions run for up to an hour, using plastic bats and rubber balls.
The program is also designed to be inclusive of children with disabilities. It runs every week through until March, except for the Christmas break.
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