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Townsville West wins school challenge

Townsville West State School has taken out first prize in the Cowboys Try for 5! Adani Challenge for 2019, coming out on top of the school attendance leaderboard over three terms.

Townsville West competed against challenge participants Heatley State School and Wulguru State School in 2019, and were presented with a framed North Queensland Toyota Cowboys jersey at assembly on Monday.

Cowboys ambassador Ray Thompson congratulated the Townsville West State School community on their win.

"It takes a big team effort between the school, students and families to be consistent with attendance and we appreciate everyone's hard work in achieving this result," Ray said.

"Thank you also to the Wulguru State School and Heatley State School communities for their efforts in improving attendance, and for their enthusiasm for our program.

"The inter-school challenge creates some friendly rivalry and at the end of the day, the students are all winners if they can go to school every day." 

©Roslyn Budd

Try for 5! has been operating since 2016 to address short and long-term impacts of students missing foundation learning in their primary years through poor school attendance.

The program motivates and rewards individual classes and schools for their attendance record during the challenge period, and engages students and families with prizes, incentives and visits from club ambassadors.

©Roslyn Budd

Townsville West State School Principal Ian Griffith said the framed jersey prize would be hung with pride for all to see.

"Winning the challenge was a wonderful surprise and is great recognition of our attempts to improve attendance," Ian said.

"This year we changed our approach to the Cowboys attendance prizes to reward the top five students in each class, and this has made a big difference.

"We know there are challenges for our families to send their children to school every day and this award also recognises their efforts in prioritising attendance."

©Roslyn Budd

Adani joined Try for 5! as a program partner in June and will return in 2020 to continue to support the challenge.

"For us at Adani, it's an amazing privilege to be able to be part of something that can make such a difference in the kids' lives and can actually be life-changing for them," David Boshoff, Adani Project Director – Carmichael Mine & Rail said.

Townsville West State School is part of the Try for 5! family of 22 Queensland schools and government and corporate partners comprised of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors; LGIAsuper; Adani; M&J Chickens; Rio Tinto and Regional Express.