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One Funky Bush Swimming Carnival

19 February 2018

 Yipirinya School, Mparntwe
Children from the Yipirinya School, Mparntwe making a splash with Australian Olympic Swimmer Jayden Hadler

There was a big splash at the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre at the end of November 2017 for the first ever One Funky Bush Swimming Carnival which was entirely funded by the proceeds of the sales from the Funky Trunks and Funkita Barnamboo print.

Painted by Bardi artist, Ashley Hunter, Barnamboo was sold throughout the world after its launch in 2017. The goal of the project was to raise enough funding for the Bush Swimming Carnival to provide water safety skills and an education program for Indigenous children from remote Australian communities.

Barnamboo by Bardi artist Ashley Hunter.

Almost 150 children visited the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre with over 2 days of exciting and educational activities to look forward to. Day 1 consisted of learning stroke technique, racing starts, and water safety and the second day was the big carnival day with 170 children from 5 schools and community centres taking part in swimming events of every discipline. The final event was a boat relay where all the children enjoyed the thrills and spills trying to race as fast as they could from one end of the pool to the other in an inflatable raft. The day ended with a chance to go on the double loop water slide which many of the children had never experienced before.

Our objective overtime for the program is to reduce the high level of drownings that occur within Indigenous communities by providing children within a safe and enjoyable environment to build confidence and knowledge around the water.

Diving in
The children learned how to dive safely into the pool.

One Funky World engaged 1964 Tokyo Olympian Peter Tonkin and 2008 Olympian Lara Davenport, who brought a wealth of experience to the project having worked for years in remote communities on health and sporting programs.

The long term goals of the One Funky program are to:

1. Provide sporting health initiatives to remote communities and make health, sport and swimming more accessible to the broader community

2. Raise the awareness of swimming and water safety in the indigenous community

3. Develop swimming role models in the indigenous community and aspiring indigenous swimmers

Longer-term we hope to develop a pipeline for indigenous and remote community athletes to compete at a national level in swimming but that means selling a few more Funkys first!

Playtime in the pool
Olympian Jayden Hadler playing in the pool with the children from the Yipirinya School, Mparntwe.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us by purchasing Funky Trunks and Funkita, especially the Barnamboo print and to all who supported the One Funky Bush Swimming Carnival. Hopefully it will be the first of many!

Barnamboo was shot at Ellery Creek Big Hole. It is a sacred site for the central and Western Arrernte people. It's name in Western Arrarnte is Udepata.



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