BY EMMA ANVARI
A Caulfield Grammar student has given us all a lesson in charity, after using a school project to provide football boots for players in remote Western Australian Indigenous communities.
Originally from Broome, Max Beadle grew up playing football, but said many of his teammates were forced to play barefoot because they could not afford footy boots.
This semester, the year 9 student was set a school project which required him to plan something that would assist someone in a community for 24-hours.
Max decided to collect football boots to send to Bidyadanga, a remote community 2.5 hours south of Broome, and his original club Cable Beach.
“I want to share that opportunity with the kids in the communities of the Kimberley who may not get to play in a pair of footy boots," he said.
Max set up football boot collection points around Melbourne and received more than 220 pairs of shoes.
The 13 year-old then asked Qantas for help. The national carrier jumped on board his project and agreed to fly the boots to WA.
“I sent them my flyer and they were really supportive,” he said.
Max's mother Rachel Beadle said moving to Melbourne allowed her son to better realise the impacts of poverty.
“Coming from a community that has such a mixed socio-economic background like Broome you get people from all spectrums of life, and there’s actually quite a lot of poverty,” Ms Beadle said.
“I think it’s wonderful that he wants to give back to a sport that he absolutely loves.”
Bidyadanga Community CEO Tania Baxter said the community was extremely grateful for Max's work.
“I think it's amazing that a young man would consider doing something like this for our community and I'm blown away by his generosity,” Ms Baxter said.
Ms Baxter said football was “a huge part of community life”, and Max’s thoughtfulness will relieve the financial stress for some community members.
“The problem we have is that most people [in Bidyadanga] are receiving Centrelink for benefits for their income,” she said.
“By being able to provide these boots [Max] is actually going to help allay some of that financial stress and really support the players.”
The boots were distributed on Monday, with a football match and community barbecue arranged to celebrate the event.
You can follow Max’s journey on instagram @bootstobidyadanga.