Chef Sean Connolly will again share his passion for food with disadvantaged youth following this week’s launch of the Charity Bounce Eat Strong, Play Strong program in Redfern, Sydney.

Connolly has come on-board as an ambassador for Charity Bounce’s Eat Strong, Play Strong, and will next week head to Alice Springs in support of community outreach initiatives led by Baker IDI, Australia’s largest heart and diabetes medical research institute. He will bring the program to the local Nyewente Basketball Club in support of an initiative championed by Baker IDI indigenous research fellow, Ricky Mentha. The club is a fully Aboriginal-controlled establishment, and started in 2011 as a grassroots club by the local community.

Charity Bounce will begin the trip with a smoking ceremony and cooking by local elders who will share with Sean their traditional bush tucker ingredients.

Ricky Mentha was looking forward to mixing the traditional and contemporary when it came to food, saying “We’ll show Sean how we prepare and cook a kangaroo and he can demonstrate to us, how he has developed his style, taste and love of food.”

After seeing the Nyewente basketball teams in action, Sean will run an Eat Strong, Play Strong cooking demo with the young people with NBL legend Cal Bruton facilitating a Stand Tall basketball clinic on the day. The young people will be from the local Aboriginal communities in Alice Springs and passionate about the sport of basketball.

Sean said, “Being a part of Charity Bounce is very rewarding because you get to be involved in a hands-on way. I love that I get to interact with the youth on a more personal level, sharing my own cooking and healthy eating tips and hopefully inspiring them to consider a career in hospitality after finishing their schooling.  I’m looking forward to seeing Alice Springs from the perspective of the local Aboriginal community and learning more from the locals about their culture and especially their bush tucker foods.”

The Eat Strong, Play Strong program works to promote healthy eating and maintaining nutritious diets, working with Indigenous and Culturally Diverse communities. The aim is to encourage healthy diets as well as improving school attendance for Indigenous students, which continues to be an issue within many Aboriginal communities.

“It’s such a unique program because the minute people see how much impact they can actually have, they naturally want to do more. They also realise very quickly how much they have to learn for themselves and its great seeing these young people listened to and engaging in such great conversations. Sean is the perfect example, and we are getting more and more industry leaders on board to make a difference in as many lives as we can,” said Charity Bounce CEO, Ian Heininger.

Prominent industry leaders including NBL Chairman and CPA Chairman Graeme Wade; COO of Baker IDI David Lloyd; Founder and Managing Director of Pacific Equity Partners, Rickard Gardell; and former NBL and NBA executive Bret Mactavish have all joined together to support the Charity Bounce initiative and will travel with Ian, Sean, and Cal on the upcoming Alice Springs trip.

Charity Bounce aims to inspire positive change for disadvantaged youth by educating them on how to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle, ultimately focused on key areas of education, employment, cultural art, basketball, and leadership pathways.

Charity Bounce is a not for profit organisation that exists to inspire positive change to overcome disadvantage for individuals and communities. With a focus on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and Culturally Diverse communities, including newly arrived refugees we aim to move people toward a more positive future through the development of sports, the arts, health, education and employment focused social programs. The programs are delivered in partnership with professional athletes to motivate change and inspire.


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