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Healthy Futures: West Coast Eagles

With the AFL season well underway, we know one thing – the game does more than draw big crowds, it brings communities closer together. We’ve been so fortunate over the past three years to partner with the West Coast Eagles, who not only bring the fun of footy to Newman, but create opportunities for young people to connect with role models, learning invaluable lessons and skills.

Since the Newman Futures project started, West Coast Eagles have been a valuable supporter of its initiatives, particularly the East Newman Activation Program.

This year at Train Park we were delighted to be joined by West Coast Eagles manager of regional programs, James Grabski, AFLW player Krstel Petrevski and her brother, AFL player Samo Petrevski-Seton.

When young people have the opportunity to connect, talk and play with role models like Krstel and Samo, the impact is far greater than just a game of footy, and with the sibling duo sharing their passion for culture and language (having both grown up in Halls Creek – not far from Newman!) it is made even greater.

“I was blessed with an amazing childhood, growing up in an Aboriginal community, I grew up with tradition and culture all my life,” Krstel reflected.

“Growing up, I’ve had people I look up to throughout my whole life and so to be that person to some of these kids is something I really cherish.”

Krstel hopes to share her love of the game, as well as her passion for her culture and language, with young people across Western Australia.

“To be an extra part of these kids loving footy, or just loving learning and being part of something bigger than themselves, that is what motivates me.

“To see the young smiles, just from holding a footy in their hand, that’s something special.”

James said the West Coast Eagles are committed to inspiring and educating future generations of football players and fans in the Pilbara.

“We’ve had a great relationship with the Newman Futures project and being able to facilitate connection opportunities with the young people in town in a collaborative way has been so beneficial,” he said.

“To support the amazing work that has come from the Newman Futures project is something we are proud to be part of, it allows us to provide access to young people to some of our amazing role models at the club.”

Our events with West Coast Eagles are always popular, perhaps because football is something that connects people, going beyond the big lights at the stadium in Perth.

“That’s why I love footy so much,” Krstel said.

“Because it brings people together, no matter what their background, footy is footy.”

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