Jake Vrahnos recently volunteered his time in a remote indigenous community, implementing sport and education programs organised by the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA). This is an insight into his week-long immersion trip:

“When I started studying at The University of Sydney, a big part of this was to play rugby league for the university and be a part of the Elite Athlete Program. Studying an education degree (majoring in Aboriginal Studies) has allowed me to further develop my interests and knowledge within Aboriginal affairs and the importance of our nation’s First Peoples.

Having heard of the volunteer roles NASCA provides through the Elite Athlete Program, I was quick to register my interest. A main part of this was to challenge myself and jump out of my comfort zone. I can truly say that this experience enlightened, empowered and encouraged me to continue the path that I had decided to take within education.

I have volunteered twice now, once in 2016 and once this year and look forward to volunteering in the near future again. To be able to spend a week with some of the most talented and inspiring kids means so much to me. We go there to educate and inspire through sport and school, however the kids are the ones who educate and inspire us. It is as simple as kicking the footy around every day or shooting hoops and having a laugh which makes it the most enjoyable time. 

I am all about sport. This opportunity to volunteer each time has made my status as an athlete at Sydney University so much more valuable and worthwhile. The knowledge that I can give to the kids in remote communities about a variety of sports is priceless – they are talented beyond measure.”