A girl’s dream

Shadeene Evans

Meet Shay Evans, a courageous 14-year-old Aboriginal girl from the far reaches of the Northern Territory’s Gulf of Carpentaria. A prodigiously talented athlete, Shay has moved, alone, 3000 kilometers south to Sydney’s Westfields Sport High School, and the NSW Institute of Sport. Shay has been developed by John Moriarty Football, a soccer program we established in remote Australia in 2012. It is delivered by our not-for-profit, The Nangala Project. We build an environment for local Aboriginal people to create their own change through wellbeing and personal growth for kids, families and staff.

Football is the circuit breaker for more than 200 of our young players who attend more than 800 training sessions per year in tiny outback communities where the nearest city is thirteen hours drive across country. In late 2015 Shay became our first young graduate to take the future in her hands and chase her dream of success on and off the field.

Being scouted by Alen Stajcic, coach of the national women’s team, the Matildas, and enrolled in elite development training in Sydney, was just the first step for Shay. Enter the Johns family. Karlyn, Sean, Gracie, Matt, Ally and Chris. Together, Shay and the Johns, especially Mum Karlyn, and new sister – team and classmate Gracie – are out to make history. Here is the start of Shay’s journey.

For more, visit: jmf.org.au



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