Dear LeRoy, Tamzyn, Lakiesha, Isaac, Shakira, Kent, Allira, Jaliyah, Sophie and Tyrick,
We are the Aboriginal AFL Academy at Port Adelaide Football Club. Thank you for writing to us! It was kind. Some of us read it three times. And thank you for your drawings! They are great. Here is a photograph of all of us (and Aunty Barbara Wingard).
You asked what we do when we get injured. And do we have to have ice baths even when it is cold? YES WE DO! We get in ice baths right up to our neck – even when it is VERY cold.
We also put ice on the injury sometimes up to 24 hours or even 48 hours! And we go and see our trainer and get strapping put on. When we have had serious injuries it can be depressing. We keep up our motivation by:
- Surrounding ourselves with good people who encourage us
- Rest and sleep are also important
One of you mentioned that your heart hurt. Some of us have also had hurt hearts. One of us has had a broken heart. When we have a broken heart we eat ice-cream and chocolate.
Thank you for sharing with us some of the problems you have to face. We face some of those same problems like arguments. If we have arguments we have to do push ups! This builds up muscle memory.
You mentioned that someone close to you can die. We’ve all lost someone. Some of us make a shrine for people who have died. That’s how we remember them. Some of us use photographs too.
This is like building up a different sort of memory.
If we have other problems we might talk to Pauly or Uncle Steve.
If we have homesickness we:
- Have lots of phone calls
- Keep busy
- Go for a holiday
- Stay close with our friends
- Some of us also suggest that when you’re old enough finding a girlfriend or a boyfriend can help.
We loved your drawing of the Aboriginal flag and what you said about it. Some us did some drawings too:
It was great to hear about the goals you are scoring. We are scoring goals too. We’re building a brotherhood here.
We hope you come and visit us sometime.
And when you do, could you cook us pancakes? We like pancakes and it sounds like you are good at cooking them!
The Aboriginal AFL Academy & Aunty Barbara Wingard