In a ground-breaking collaboration, Asthma WA has joined forces with Binar Futures and St John of God Murdoch Hospital to launch a new health initiative, a two day ‘Health Embassy’, at the January 2024 Albany Binar Futures Basketball Camp. The event will see hundreds of young basketball players, aged between 11-17, from around the state coming together to compete and participate.

Asthma WA CEO, Anne Hallam, is grateful the organisation can assist with this very important cause in an effort to raise awareness and education amongst the Aboriginal youth.

“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Binar Futures for the first time. Aboriginal Australians are twice as likely to have asthma and twice as likely to die from asthma than non-Aboriginal Australians,” Anne says.

“Together with Binar, we’re determined to improve quality of life for Aboriginal Australians. Our focus is on improving the lives of people with respiratory health conditions and empowering these young athletes to reach their full potential.”

The Health Embassy is designed to offer health advice and assessment opportunities to children who may lack access to diagnostic and pre-emptive health measures. During the basketball clinics and tournaments, health stations will be up on a spare basketball court, each catering to different health needs and providing interactive learning experiences and health checks for participating children.

Basketball teams will be strategically rostered to attend stations during their downtime in the competition schedule. The health checks being conducted by Asthma WA include comprehensive Lung Function Testing and asthma education.

Each participant will be given a ‘health passport’ to get stamped by each provider they visit, and upon completion, they will be able to choose their Binar Merchandise rewards based on their participation, donated by a variety of sponsors.

Adam Desmond, founder of Binar Futures, says asthma is an obvious issue with many of the young basketballers.

“When I look at the teams that we have and the kids that play, there’s always an asthma puffer on the bench,” Adam says.

“There are always kids that suffer from asthma and I think there are also a lot of kids who are not even diagnosed or who slip through the cracks.

“We’ve seen it happening many times over the years with the basketball teams, so I think having health providers set up for them to learn more and to understand there might be some symptoms that they can deal with is a really positive thing.”

Asthma WA has several staff who have generously volunteered their time to travel to Albany to provide Lung Function Testing and assist with education, including Kate Hipwell, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Max Jenkins-Cooney, Senior Coordinator – Respiratory Testing.

The Binar community group was founded by Adam Desmond 12 years ago with a basketball team and a group of boys from the Midland area.

Initially intended as an engagement tool to help the kids in other aspects of their life, Binar, which is the Noongar word for meteor, has now evolved into an organisation reaching more than 2,000 young people.

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