Day 1- Tuesday 30th April 2019
Today I woke up bursting with excitement but also could feel the nerves building up leading into tonight’s game. After arriving in Darwin I could instantly feel the heat and humidity and knew that we weren’t in Adelaide anymore. Tonight’s game was tough as this was our first interstate tournament and everyone was new to the 3 on 3 concept. We started off slow but started to adapt as the game went on, showing glimpses of what we are capable of. It was also great to see that we had support from the Aboriginal Netball Academy who cheered us on from start to finish. After the game I felt quite sore but pumped to get into the next game. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but during our team meeting we discussed what we did well and what we need to bring into game 2 to put ourselves in the best position to play Kaurna Boomerangs hockey.
Day 2- Wednesday 1st May 2019
Day 2 in sunny Darwin was a blast as we kickstarted our morning off by showing our support to the Aboriginal Netball Academy who came and supported us last night. Then went on to pay a visit to crocodylus park to see some not so good friends in the crocodiles, we were able to get up close to crocs like brutus and prince and were even lucky enough to feed them. After learning about these magnificent creatures I became inspired to be fast, hungry and ferocious in the remaining two games. We started strong tonight and really began to play Boomerangs hockey, everyone went to a whole new level and played three good periods of hockey. It was a great team effort to get our first win interstate and of the series.
Day 3- Thursday 2nd May 2019
Day number 3 in Darwin was pretty relaxed we were able to go to the shops hang out and just explore this beautiful city. The heat really started to get to me and made me feel a little homesick for nice and cool Adelaide but was a really nice change in weather. Leading into our final game of the trip I was just excited to play alongside my Boomerangs family. The game was a really great performance by all and was filled with excitement. It was amazing to see our great goalie in Max play one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play and really couldn’t wait for the final buzzer to sound to congratulate him on his performance. The biggest thing for me was seeing Jarrad who was presented with the MVP award selflessly give the award straight to Max. Later on we all sat around the pool and reflected on what a great experience we had on this trip and really soaked up the emotions that flowed through everyone as we knew this was our last night. After the meeting we all the players sat together and talked. This talk was filled with heaps of emotion as Brett became emotional as he told the group how much the trip meant to him and how much he appreciated everyone.
Day 4- Friday 3rd May 2019
Our final hours in Darwin was quite upsetting as we had to leave to go back home to Adelaide. We all hung out and just enjoyed our time talking over breakfast. On the plane I just reflected on what a great experience this was not only playing Ice hockey but building lifelong friendships with the whole group from Uncle Joey to Aunty Brittany to our big brother Jarrad and the rest of brothers Jaidyn, Lachie, Colin, Lukey, Marko, Max, Jordy, Riley and the one only Brett the heart of our team. I would like to thank the sponsors and everyone who worked hard behind the scenes to give us young Aboriginal men the opportunity to create history.
Ice Factor Program launched the Kaurna Boomerangs year and a half ago after an initiative from two of our former students Shaquille Burgoyne and Jaidyn O'Neill. The purpose of the team was to make sure the young indigenous players in the area had a safe place to come to to keep away from trouble.
After taking the Ice Factor Challenge Cup by storm last year the Boomerangs set their sights interstate: The vision from the leaders Marie Shaw QC and Brittany Armstrong was to take the team interstate to play games and eventually overseas. From there started the project to take this team to represent Ice Factor, indigenous people and South Australia to Darwin.
After months and months of hard work the team was finally ready to go. In preparation the team was coached by the head coach Justine Shaw and assistant coaches Tash Farrier (Women's national team representative) and Ales Kratoska (Adelaide Adrenaline import player.) Unfortunately none of these players were available to take the trip due to professional and personal reasons. Up stepped our very own Joey Matthew who took the team leading up to the tournament and coached the team during the series as well. When we asked Joey what he thought of the trip his response was "Best experience of my life."
The team was full of excitement before the tournament and attended all the promotional events that were organised. This close and positive mentality followed the team all throughout the tournament with players experiencing bonds like they never have. One of the big mentors and leaders in the team was Northern Adelaide Senior College teacher and the first Indigenous player to play for Australia Jarrad Chester. His experience and knowledge was able to lift up every player in the team. Max Black from Hamilton Hornets was a wall in nets but was also well supported by the tenacious defence.
The First game Boomerangs struggled with the small rink they are not used to. The Tiger Sharks took the win in that game. However after some guidance from Jarrad and Joey the team bounced back with a top effort in the game 2 to take the series in the decisive game. In game the Boomerangs were all over the Sharks and took on a convincing victory.
Now the sights are set for an even bigger catch and taking the team international. We would like to take the time to thank a ll of our supporters for this project! once again we could not have done this without you. THANK YOU!
My name is Lakeisha, I’m the current Ambassador of Ice Factor, having been a participant of the program for four years during high school. When I first began in the program I was a shy and insecure year fourteen-year-old. I was so afraid of humiliation that I often avoided asking for help from my teachers. One of my earliest memories of this is not being able to do maths equations in class, feeling too embarrassed to ask for help. This extended all throughout my life and still to this day I suck at maths. My peers would laugh at my inability to do basic maths, which eventually created my fear of getting questions wrong. So, maths is my biggest weakness, however this speech isn’t about highlighting how I still can’t tell you what nine times six is, but instead to remind you about how big an impact showing support can do for an individual.
Many of you have experienced times where you’ve felt alone or suffered hardships that make you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world. And feeling alone in your darkest times can lead to you living in a world that seems cold. It effects your outlook on life and makes you feel as though you’re not going anywhere with life. I know because I was like this. I came into the Ice Factor as a student who felt isolated and despised. All of this because of issues around my family, my lack of confidence and having friends who didn’t understand. However, Ice Factor changed the way I looked at the world, instead of hearing laughter when I failed I heard my coaches and teammates encouraging me to get up and keep giving my all. I watched my peers become confident in their abilities and create strong friendships. I greatly admired them for how aspiring they became. I admired my coaches for pushing each and every player to do their best on days my peers couldn’t find the motivation themselves. My coaches would celebrate my accomplishments with me and ensured that they didn’t just know my name and dream job, but who I was. They ensured they learned what was bothering me on my bad days and what values I held so closely to my heart.
Though it took some time I myself was able to become a leader and find my way in the world. I became captain of my schools Ice Factor team and helped to motivate my team to become the best versions of themselves, not just in ice hockey but in their daily lives as well. I graduated high school, becoming a nominee for school DUX and receiving subject and community awards. I became a mentor for Ice Factor, then on my final tournament was appointed ambassador, a position I wish to work with all my heart. Ice Factor helped me to learn the skills I desperately needed and helped me to find the motivation I needed to push myself to accomplish remarkable goals. I did have my dark moments, health scares, financial issues, family problems, but I persevered, and perseverance is an ability which is highly valuable in both ice hockey and life. In year 11 I almost failed maths, making me consider if I could even handle year 12. Then at the beginning of last year I sat in my English class working on assignments that just weren’t good enough, leaving me to rethink whether my dream of being a publisher was achievable. But Ice Factor pulled me through, helping to support and motivate me towards that dream and help me give my all, the program supported me when barely anyone else did.
On December 20th 2018 I became one step closer to my dream. On that day I received a university offer into my first preference. Now this year I will be undertaking a Bachelor of Media majoring in Journalism at the University of Adelaide. And as for maths, well I’ll never be good at it but I’ve never used it in ice hockey, so I don’t stress about it too much. And as for my personal skills, my leadership and communication skills have developed in ways I never thought possible, which has seen me being offered a position on the Adelaide Adrenaline’s media team and the possibility of helping my workplace with their social media and blog. I also plan to help other Ice Factor students find their strengths and make their mark in this world. I remember the happiness I felt in my first week as a mentor when I helped a girl to overcome her fear of falling and taught her how to ice skate. The joy in her eyes as she talked to me was a heart-warming moment that inspired me to support each student as best as I could. And during my second week my coach who had been there since the first time I stepped on the ice told me that I was like a daughter to him, as someone who grew up without my father or a big loving family, I felt happy. Looking back now I realise that along the way Ice Factor had become a family to me.
Ice Factor has helped so many students to find their way in life, without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. Ice Factor is a symbol of what a human is capable of when supported. As ambassador I want all of you to know that this program has touched the lives of many. Not just the students but the teachers, the parents and the coaches.
So, thank you for listening, and I hope that you will have the opportunity to hear more from other participants who have had their lives changed for the better by this amazing program. And keep your eyes peeled because they will all be changing the world for the better in their own ways.
2 former Ice Factor students from Fremont Elizabeth City Blue Hawks, Shaquille Burgoyne and Jaidyn O'Neill, were concerned how their indigenous friends were going through life. They saw many of their friends and family get in trouble in one way or another. Luckily for Jaidyn and Shaquille they had already experienced a program that helps young people in such situations - Ice Factor.
The boys contacted us and explained the situation to us and we all wanted to come up with a solution. And a solution they came up with: "Why don't we start an all indigenous ice hockey team in Ice Factor?" There was no reason why not so the boys went to work to try and find players and sponsors for the team. In a matter of only weeks we were able to take the photo above: The first Kaurna Boomerangs team photo. Three of our Ice Factor helpers Ales Kratoska, Tash Farrier and Justine Shaw committed coaching the team with a mix experience of players. Some had played a bit of ice hockey before, other had never skated.
The team picked up skills really quickly and even won one of our Ice Factor Challenge Cup! After establishing the team, the Boomerangs have gained some amazing supporters: Jarrad Neade (Port Adelaide) and Eddie Betts (Adelaide Crows) have spent time with the team and helping give guidance.
This all started with only two young men, some vision and a lot of determination.
The Ice Factor students believe in every person in the world to have a fair go. And we believe every person should be treated equally.
The Ice Factor teams spent months to practice their acts for the dedication to reconciliation. We saw some amazing performances from every school in the Program: Dancing, singing, music, reading and many other any acts to pay respect to reconciliation.