Deadly Student Designed West Coast Eagles Boots
In recognition of NAIDOC Week, players from the West Coast Eagles AFL and WAFL teams will be wearing boots hand painted by students from Clontarf Aboriginal College this weekend. This special partnership has formed through the Waalitj Foundation’s mentoring program delivered at the school.
With the aim of increasing school attendance, the Waalitj Foundation program utilises engagement activities including career development sessions and individualised mentoring. As part of this students have enjoyed learning football skills, painting and yarning with players and staff from the West Coast Eagles.
During the Waalitj Foundation’s mentoring sessions, students have dedicated their time to creating meaningful artwork on the West Coast Eagles players boots in the spirit of NAIDOC Week. Each creation has been designed with the individual player in mind.
In a celebration of the oldest, continuing living cultures on earth, NAIDOC Week is time for all Australians to learn and recognise the history and achievements of First Nations Australians.
The Waalitj Foundation and West Coast Eagles recognise the importance of NAIDOC Week and endeavour to carry on this year’s theme ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’ each day.
West Coast Eagles Star Willie Rioli said that he really enjoyed being involved in the Waalitj Foundation program at Clontarf Aboriginal College – both inside and outside the classroom.
“This has been an exciting project to be a part of. It has allowed us to really connect with the students by sharing our stories and family connections, which is a big part of who I am.
“I think it’s really important that the young students stay connected to their culture, particularly when they are spending time away from their traditional country,” Said Rioli.
Waalitj Foundation Director and AFL legend, Troy Cook said that running this unique mentoring program at Clontarf Aboriginal College has inspired the students take up new opportunities and celebrate culture.
“We have invested time in forming connections with each of the students and plan to build on this throughout the year, providing career development opportunities and instilling in them the importance of education.
“Our mentors are First Nation’s role models providing a safe and nurturing environment for the students to explore their passions and interests,” said Mr Cook.
The Waalitj Foundation delivers a tailored mentoring program for all students at Clontarf Aboriginal College. After introducing the Foundation’s successful Deadly Sista Girlz program to the school in 2021, they have now launched a program for the male students.
Regular visits from the West Coast Eagles team, motivates students to participate in sporting activities and provides further mentoring and guidance for the students.