Generosity of Wagga businesses funds junior netball stars' Indigenous Schoolgirls dream

RAISING FUNDS: NSW Echidnas representatives Kaelani Goolagong, Tamsyn Goolagong and Indiannah Johnson (centre three) with Ashmont Inn-Hotel staff.
RAISING FUNDS: NSW Echidnas representatives Kaelani Goolagong, Tamsyn Goolagong and Indiannah Johnson (centre three) with Ashmont Inn-Hotel staff.

Four of Wagga’s youngest Indigenous sporting talents will strut their stuff at the Australian Indigenous Schoolgirls Netball Championship next week – but the dream would never have been possible without their community’s help.

Wagga quartet Indiannah Johnson, Kyesha Miller and sisters Tamsyn and Kaelani Goolagong were named in the NSW Echidnas representative squad last November, earning them a ticket to take on the country’s best in Melbourne.

The cost of travel and accommodation proved an obstacle but Tamsyn and Kaelani’s mum, Bettina Goolagong, said the girls had actively raised enough cash to cover almost all expenses for the tournament.

“We ended up raising around two grand and that will cover just about everything we need,” Ms Goolagong said.

READY TO ROLL: (left, from back) NSW Echidnas representatives Tamsyn Goolagong, Indiannah Johnson, Kaelani Goolagong and Kyesha Miller. Picture: Lachlan Grey

READY TO ROLL: (left, from back) NSW Echidnas representatives Tamsyn Goolagong, Indiannah Johnson, Kaelani Goolagong and Kyesha Miller. Picture: Lachlan Grey

“It’s really helped to alleviate some of those expenses.”

Indiannah’s mum, Melissa Clear-Jones, said the Ashmont Pub and Wagga Netball had been incredibly supportive in helping raise a collective $1850 while other Wagga businesses had contributed prizes towards raffles run by the girls.

“With all the local support and the girls leading the fundraising themselves, we are proud of their efforts in raising funds to get them to nationals and the Wagga community in getting behind the girls,” Ms Clear-Jones said.

The girls train with their representative side in Melbourne next Tuesday before the competition kicks off on Wednesday.

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This story NSW Echidnas girls set for nationals after Wagga’s generosity first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.