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Wanta’s Central desert Academies finished the bush holidays with bang! Joining with Yipirinya school and Melbourne Football Club, footy was the theme for the trip!

The Wanta Papunya, Arlparra and Ntaria groups all joined together in Alice Springs to fine tune some footy skills on the Saturday with a high scoring match up between the three Academies playing at Yipirinya school, which couldn’t go ahead without our own seasoned umpire Zac (Wanta Director Arlparra Academy) putting in some mileage to cover the ground. After the match, some food and a movie night at the local cinemas rounded out a fun filled day.

Sunday morning saw everyone venture to Anzac Oval in Alice to have a meet and greet with the Melbourne Football Club staff and female players, before putting on an exhibition match with the players. 

Some impressive rucking by our own Melshane Richardson helped his team to an impressive lead by half time.

The second half was more competitive after a shuffle around, but the strong start by the black team brought them home for the win.

Some group photos and prizes were dished out before the players had to head off and prepare for the AFL match that afternoon.

Traeger Park was busier than it had been in three years, with the first AFL match there since 2019.

Among a packed out crowd, the Wanta fellas had the privilege of being chosen for the guard of honour for the Melbourne Demons to run out to, while being decked out in the Demons playing gear (which they were allowed to keep as well!).

It was an amazing experience for the kids, and to then sit back and watch the game with the tickets that were gifted to us by the AFL topped off an exciting, fulfilling experience and trip for our Central Academies.

A big thank you to Yipirinya School for allowing us to stay at your wonderful accommodation, and to the Melbourne Football Club for including Wanta in your busy schedule and providing an opportunity of a lifetime for our kids!

Written by Natasha Bennett (Director Ntaria RSAS) and Ellie Simmons (Director Ntaria SCFC)