WOW – what a start to 2015 for us here at RRSF!
The first 4 months have had us very busy as a group working towards locating new areas and communities to deliver our RRSF footprint. As we have found out rather quickly, these areas take strong navigation and also require extreme attention to details as we require the regions we look to work in to be also working themselves as a community to change the way things are currently, especially so that the children can have opportunities to develop and lead more completed lives.
So in saying all that, I’m very excited to announce that we will be working on new projects with the council group at the City of Playford. Together we have worked over the last 6 months identifying regions which will flourish with our developments and program.
The major attraction for me personally and my board here at RRSF has been the passion from the City of Playford in wanting to give people in their community what they deserve and the passion from them of wanting to create a better living environment for the children so that they have the potential to develop into champion young adults in life.
We look forward in the coming months to reveal fully our development plans for the region and the children’s lives that will be redirected through these outcomes.
I’m now very pleased to talk to you about our very first development at Rajah St Reserve, Oaklands Pk, SA.
Rajah St celebrates is at its 1 year anniversary and what a year it has been, from the first bit of dirt dug until this day we have had amazing positive outcomes with this great community and the Marion council. The reserve is the heartbeat of the community and they have made it beat even stronger. We have controlled coaching sports programs in the reserve free of charge 2 nights per week which have been so successful that extra hours have been added continuously to keep up with the demand- I love to hear that. School holiday programs take place for the community plus the parents in the area have created through the RRSF and Council a sports group that also helps deliver their own sporting events for the community.
The Rajah Rec Squad was formed in January 2014. The Rec Squad are a group of local community members that had expressed an interest in being involved with the recreational and sporting activities that were planned when the reserve was complete. The Rajah Rec Squad currently has 6 active members that meet every 4 weeks to plan the various activities and events that happen at the Reserve. The group members work with staff from CoM to bring sport and recreational activities to their community. The group connects with parents, community member and local organisations and they are the voice of the greater community.
Since the Rec Squad was formed all participants have taken part in training that is relevant to their role on the Rec Squad, most of the group now have the following qualifications:
- Senior First Aid Certificate
- Child Safe Environments Training
And all hold a current DCIS screening and licensing check – This is essential when working with young people or vulnerable people in the community.
The Rec Squad take a lead role in the implementation, planning and reviewing of all the activities, sports and events that happen at Rajah Reserve.
A number of parents also play an active role and are involved and volunteer with specific sports at the reserve. One parent regularly helps out with Basketball on Monday evening and has arranged to leave work early so he can be part of the program.
“We love coming to Rajah Street Reserve as a family because the new play equipment is wonderful, you meet great people and there’s after school sports, including coaching for the kids.”
“My son has been taught soccer skills and now plays tennis at the reserve; I’ve started adult fitness classes and my husband coaches’ basketball.”
“My children have made friends with other local kids but I have also met other parents, it gives me something to look forward to each week.”
Parents and community member are connecting and interacting with each other during sporting and recreational activities and other organised community events.The community group
The community group were asked how they view the new reserve, below are a few of the quotes.
“It’s been the making of this area”“
“There are always kids playing in the reserve, people sitting and just using the area now”
“It has made huge difference to this community”
“The sport has brought lots of people out here”
Yes this group of fantastic people have taken ownership of the new facility which is a powerful message for the children to observe. Great people doing positive things for the children and themselves. We thank them so much for letting us be a small part in the community they live in.
Before I leave Rajah st, I would like to pass on a massive thank you to Julie Higgins who spends 2-3 days per week with the people at Rajah St, making sure that the wheels keep turning in the right direction and offering assistance to those when needed. Rajah st and the local community have inspired me and we look forward to reporting some great future stories to you all.
Finally, I would like to thank this group of fantastic people for providing the time and energy for the kids of Oakland Pk community.
- Damien Page – Tennis
- Callum Deacon & Ali Tru – Basketball
- Kerry Brownson- Skate School
- Ready Steady Go Kids – James Ralston
- Football Federation SA – Multi Cultural Unit, Igor Negrao
- Netball SA – Danny O’Brain
And the most important player in this group is Julie Higgins from the Marion Council, Julie has been amazing in helping us build a team environment which works and helps each other step by step. We are grateful to have Julie in our team- thank you.
Thanks everyone for staying loyal and following our journey, with your support we will do some amazing things in the community and save children’s lives in the process through the vehicle of sport.
Thanks and have a powerful day!