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  • Writer's pictureQBN Tigers Club

Another Tigers Overseas Community Project.

Members of the Australian Defence Force (Tigers Club Chaplain bottom row, far right) along with the Missionary Sisters of The Pro Bambini di Kabul School

As each player leaves their change rooms at Allinsure Park to run out for the Queanbeyan Tigers, the last thing they will see are the words ‘Culture Matters’ emblazoned above the change room doors.

Started in 2017 – the phrase is more than a slogan to the players, staff and volunteers at Allinsure Park.

Each man and woman who pulls on the Tigers jumper buys into the belief that while football is important – the culture behind the club is pr-eminent.

In recent years, presentations by Olympic Athletes, Norm Smith Medalists and Senior ADF Officers as part of the club’s leadership program have endorsed the mindset that the ethics and values of the club are what link the club to the community.

The Culture Matters ethos was demonstrated recently, when players and volunteers purchased, donated and then packaged and posted 100 kilograms of toys to the Pro Bambini di Kabul School – a school for disadvantaged children in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Pro Bambini di Kabul School is staffed by missionary sisters from Pakistan and India, helping to create new futures for children with mental disabilities and their families. The sisters live together in a small house with three tin

y bedrooms, a community room, chapel and kitchen, working with the disadvantaged, the orphans, the forgotten.

Pro Bambini di Kabul enrolled 10 children the first year. It was unthinkable to most Afghan families that children with mental or physical handicaps could go to school. Families traditionally kept the children out of sight because their disabilities brought shame to the family.

However, by word of mouth – more and more children began lining up to enroll. Children who had never stood upright are now walking with the aid of walkers or using wheelchairs to move about. Children who could not feed themselves, now tie their own shoes, dress or bathe and are becoming self-sufficient.

The Community Project was coordinated by Club Chaplain Scott Minchin, former Captain and now Committee person Ryan Quade and Chairman Ron Fowlie. The Queanbeyan Tigers players individually purchased toys, packaged them up and sent them to Afghanistan via the Australian Defence Force, where Scott Minchin is currently deployed with the ADF.

Minchin the man the Tigers call ‘El Chapo’, coordinated the toy drive in Kabul and presented fifty boxes of toys and sporting goods to grateful sisters, who received and distributed the toys to deserving and needy children.

On field success is always the goal at Queanbeyan, a proud club that has claimed its fair share of silverware – but its off-field impact is just as important for a club that has volunteered in their local community. In particularly this year through the Kick2Kick Community Awareness project and through the Tigers Players Camp whereby players attended community projects including HOME in Queanbeyan, Salvation Army and projects organized through the Queanbeyan City Council.

The Tigers Overseas Community Projects have been ongoing for some time.

In 2017 a team of volunteers/ players travelled (at their own expense) to the Solomon Islands assisting the local population and local Rotary Club with various building projects. Once again, this project was the brai

n child of Club Chaplain Scott Minchin who – when available is also one of the Clubs 1st and Reserve runner(s) whilst also assisting Tigerettes 1st Grade Coach – Chris Clifton.   It was the intent to go back to the Solomon’s in 2019, but unfortunately, the “Chapos” deployment put this on hold.

Many years ago, the Tigers sponsored a footy team in Samoa and then assisted the Samoan National AFL team tour Victoria and NSW for several promotional games.  From that adventure the Tigers sponsored two Samoan players who later joined the Tigers and played in the local AFL Canberra competition.   Many sets of excess jumpers have also been forward to local clubs through Indonesia.

The players, who assisted in this most recent project – to support an orphanage in Afghanistan that they probably have never heard of and that the majority will never go to – is testament that our field community projects are just as important as our field goals – and certainly has helped a club continue to grow a club where Culture Matters.

Our thanks to Scott and Jane Minchin for their invaluable and ongoing support of our Community Awareness Projects.

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