Basketball a win for Deadly Sista Girlz

Indigenous basketball talent was on show when 72 participants from the Wirrpanda Foundation’s Deadly Sista Girlz Program came together to compete in their first sporting event of the year.

Supported by the National Indigenous Australians Agency and delivered by strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models, Deadly Sista Girlz is a culturally appropriate program which aims to improve engagement and school attendance amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls. Participants are enabled to make informed decisions about their personal health and well-being through the delivery of mentoring sessions.

Mentors offer a stable environment and aim to engage, educate, and empower at risk girls to make positive choices for their health and futures. Participants benefit from having trusted mentors present and available on the school grounds, helping to build routine, encourage better relationships with the wider community, instil confidence and achieve goals.

As part of Deadly Sista Girlz, participants have access to a tailored Sport and Recreation program, which utilises weekly sport sessions as an important engagement tool and highlights the importance of health and fitness. The girls have the opportunity to compete in sporting events throughout the year, including basketball and AFL Football competitions.

Eight teams from Deadly Sista Girlz sites Champion Bay Senior High, Fremantle College, Gilmore College, John Tonkin College, Ellenbrook Secondary College, Yule Brook College and Governor Stirling Senior High School competed in the round robin basketball competition. Governor Stirling Senior High School took out the tournament, defeating Champion Bay Senior High School in the final by 23 points.

There was some tremendous talent on show but more importantly the girls showed a high level of sportsmanship and commitment to their teams throughout the day. Deadly Sista Girlz sporting events provide opportunities for the girls to come together and meet fellow Sista Girlz from around the state, helping to build connections and networks.

The girls also had the opportunity to hear from WNBA star and Australian Opal Sami Whitcomb who spoke about her basketball career including her journey to the WNBA and the importance of overcoming challenges to succeed as a professional athlete. Sami was kind enough to stick around to watch some of the games and present the Moorditj Yok Awards (Deadly Girl Awards) to Shakira Fletcher (Governor Stirling), Selina Mippy (Governor Stirling), Jila Ryder (Champion Bay) and Zarlya Yarran (Gilmore College).

Deadly Sista Girlz Coordinator Siobhann Williams said the event is about more than just sport.

“The basketball carnival is about getting the girls together and rewarding them for their attendance at school and just to have fun and get to know the other sites.

“As an Aboriginal person, sport was just always around and it was kind of our key contact to get out and to provide a better future for ourselves.

“There is obviously a lot of natural talent and potential from our girls, so I think sport is a really important vehicle for them.”

Thank you to everyone who made the day possible including SEDA school for assisting with umpiring and scoring for all games, Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corp in providing funds for our two Champion Bay teams to attend the event, Town of Victoria Park for the basketball courts and allowing family and spectators in to watch the tournament and Sami Whitcomb and her family for taking the time to attend before travelling to Turkey to continue her career the next day.

Find out more about our Deadly Sista Girlz program here.

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