Megan's Remote Story
When told about a remote coaching job in the Northern Territory, Gymnastics coach, Megan Fairhill, knew it was an adventure that was calling her name. In 2016, Megan decided to temporarily leave her then club, Advance Academy of Gymnastics in NSW and take on a new opportunity teaching gymnastics classes to the remote communities of the NT.
That was in 2016 and for the past 4 years has visited upwards of 45 different communities.
“You don’t know the condition of the facility where you’re delivering the program. It's unpredictable how many participants you get for every class and you have a range of abilities and ages you need to cater for!” Megan told Gymnastics NT after returning home from her most recent remote trip.
In extreme conditions, it brings Megan joy to see the children free to express and explore, by providing a sport they don’t have access to.
“I love the spontaneousness and being flexible while coaching, nothing goes to plan. I love ‘thinking outside the box’ and being creative with new games/skills to perform.”
In what can sometimes be an isolating experience away from loved ones, Megan says she loves the challenge and would recommend it to anyone.
“I would tell my friend to leave what you’ve learnt in the gymnastics arena there (bring safety). Be prepared for adverse conditions, and pack in your bag: an open mind, your creativity, ‘outside of the box thinking’ and most importantly, excitement.”
Megan has learnt a lot about Indigenous Australian Culture in her time as a remote coach and recalls her favourite memory
“I was driving from my accommodation in Beswick to start the gymnastics program in Barunga. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw these young Indigenous children jumping from an old folded over innerspring mattress in their front yard performing flips/somersaults. The older sister was just there to water the grass/mud to make their landing soft/slush. A classic!”
Describing remote coaching as “unpredictable”, Megan goes into every community with a flexible attitude so she can adapt to the environment she will be working in.
“You think you’ve seen everything…until… you won’t believe your eyes.”