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UWA student intern helps disadvantaged community keep fit and healthy during lockdown

23 June, 2020

McCusker Centre for Citizenship student intern Raje Narang has been helping Reclink Australia member agencies keep fit and active during COVID-19 self-isolation.

During her 100-hour internship, University of WA Psychology student Ms Narang coordinated the Mirrabooka-based not-for-profit organisation’s social media content by sharing daily fitness videos, session ideas and activities.  

Reclink Australia provides sport and recreation programs for disadvantaged communities, aiming to foster social connections and help vulnerable members be mentally and physically healthy.

Intern supervisor and Reclink WA State Manager Sarah Kitis said Ms Narang’s work had been “instrumental” in supporting their agencies to engage in sport and physical activity during isolation.

“The support provided by Raje has been huge for our team and enabled us to continue to focus on providing our agencies with more support,” Ms Kitis said.

“The help has been vital, particularly for our team during this challenging time.”

Bull Creek resident Ms Narang, 21, said the extra challenge of adapting her internship to working from home during the pandemic was “tricky at first”.

“I’m very grateful that I can still research and review content at home that can be directly shared with Reclink members via social media,” she said.

“With the help of my supervisor Sarah, we’ve approached working from home with an open mind.

“We realised early on that they key to a successful internship during COVID-19 would rely on frequent communication. This learning experience has given me the possibility to communicate with others in a time of crisis, despite being distant from each other.”

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship recently received almost double the expected number of student applications for its upcoming winter (June-July) round of internships. 

Centre Director Michelle Scott said the “overwhelming” number of applications was a sign that young people were increasingly seeking opportunities to engage with and give back to their communities.

“It is clear UWA students have a great appetite for internships with a social purpose,” Ms Scott said.

“They have seen the very practical way that their peers contributed, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and want to do the same.”