Island camp inspires all

As the “home” of Queensland star Sam Thaiday, the beautiful island of Iama already has strong rugby league ties.

But now, thanks to a partnership between the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, the QRL and the NRL, Iama (Yam Island) has another feather in its cap.

Much to the delight of the local community, it can now lay claim to being the most remote Australian destination to a host a rugby league holiday camp.

From April 4-6, 30 eager participants aged between six and 12 years proudly wore their new PLAY NRL gear.

The campers were given a healthy breakfast to start off each day, which was action packed with skills in all the basics of rugby league. They took part in numerous competitions and a League tag event.

“The Yam Island community were fantastic in their support of the camp and their hospitality was appreciated,” NRL Development Officer Sean Durant said.

“It was inspiring to get an insight into the amazing culture of this remote community in the Torres Strait.

“Taking rugby league to these passionate rugby league areas is essential in fostering community spirit and engagement, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.”

Ella Kris, Manager of Health and Wellbeing for Torres Strait Island Regional Council, explained her inspiration behind the camp.

“A genuine commitment to families and to the values they reflect, is to begin with those to whom we own the greatest responsibility and to those whom we value the most – our kids,” she said. 

“Let’s not just talk about, let’s make it happen, with one of the sports we most love, rugby league, and put our kids first.

“TSIRC would like to thank Rob Moore, Sean Durant, Thomas Loban, Keith Pabai and Trudy Lui, as well as Billy Bann from My Pathways and the other community members who helped out.”

Funding provided by TSIRC CEO, Ms Dania Ahwang, ensured an extremely successful camp.

As the camp wrapped up, both Durant and Kris agreed that it was initiatives like this that provided hope and inspiration for remote communities.

Fittingly, the final comment was left to a community elder, who said: “Our kids look at the horizon and think that is where their world is bounded by, but when opportunities such as this comes, it allows our young people to understand there is a world beyond that horizon and that they possess the ability of going beyond it.”