On the weekend, seven lucky Lajamanu students were rewarded by Wanta with a special trip to Katherine for a weekend full of fun activities and new experiences. The students were so excited to camp out under the stars in the local caravan park in their swags as the temperature this time of year in Katherine is very warm and the chance of rain is very low.

On Saturday morning, the students were up early for breakfast and then we headed into town for our first activity of the day with Big Rivers BMX Club and AusCycling NT at the Katherine BMX track. When we arrived, we were made to feel very welcome with juice and fruits and then we all got changed into long sleeve shirts and jeans to cover and protect ourselves whilst learning to BMX bike!

We then got sized up for helmets, gloves and bikes and our trainer, Nicky, took us for some bike skills on the grass to practice before heading over to the BMX track. A number of the students were pretty nervous, but with some good instruction, encouragement and a few practice laps of the track, the students were soon having lots of fun and feeling confident on their BMX bikes. It was very impressive for their first go on a BMX track! We were then treated to some hot dogs and juice, took a few group photos and then it was off to the beautiful Katherine hot springs for a refreshing swim after so much riding in the hot sun.

After lunch, we piled back into the van and headed towards the Cutta Cutta caves, just a short drive from Katherine. We had a local Jawoyn guide show us through; the students loved learning about the formations and the stories behind them. We really enjoyed the peaceful walk through the caves and the surrounding bush land after such an energetic morning!

Tiredly, we headed back to our campsite for a few games of cards, a kick of the footy and a shower before heading to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. We enjoyed some great food and service and the students loved all the new and different tastes that they hadn’t experienced before; they were determined to use their chop sticks as much as possible to eat with.

Everyone slept very well Saturday night after such a huge day, so in the morning, we enjoyed another nice, long swim at the Katherine hot springs before the big drive back to Lajamanu. It was such a great and memorable trip for all involved, well done to my students for giving everything a go!

Written by Simon Blake, Director Lajamanu Sports Academy.