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Charitable act leads ice hockey star to rink

A talent for ice hockey might seem like a unique thing to discover in sunny Queensland, but proud Wuthathi boy Louis has a heartwarming story behind his journey to the rink.

Seven-year-old Louis is one of our Young, Black and Proud scholarship winners this year, taking home a sports scholarship for his impressive skills on the ice.

But it wasn’t just his passion and commitment to the sport that won over our selection panel. It was his generous heart as well.

Just last year, Louis was well known for one thing in particular, his luscious locks. Growing his hair since he was four years old, it had reached an impressive 35cm. Until he made the brave decision to cut it all off in the name of charity.

“Last year, a girl in my class came to school upset that her little sister had been diagnosed with cancer. My parents explained to me what this meant and I was so sad for her and her sister,” Louis said.

“I decided that I was going to do a fundraiser for my birthday and would cut off all my hair. I raised over $1000 and donated the money and my hair to a charity that makes wigs for kids who are sick and lose their hair.”

As a reward for all his hard work and to celebrate his birthday, Louis parents took him ice skating. The rest, as they say, is history.

At home on the ice

One session was all it took for Louis and his parents to realise his skills in the rink.

“My Mum worried that I wouldn’t like ice skating because it’s cold and it can take a lot of practice to get really good, but I surprised her by being able to skate without holding on to anything at all before the end of the session,” Louis said.

Louis admits he can struggle to focus on tasks for long periods of time and can lose interest in a task if it becomes too challenging. But when learning to skate, he refused to stop until he got each skill correct, hanging back for public sessions to try and learn from some of the more advanced skaters.

This dedication won him an invitation to join the under 9s ice hockey team at his local rink. He also earned the nickname ‘the Weapon’ from the older skaters who were impressed with his speed and technique.

Louis is incredibly grateful to receive his scholarship. He plans to use his funds to progress his skills on the ice.

Louis has his eye on an all-Indigenous youth team based in Adelaide called the Boomerangs. The team, with the financial support of Ice Hockey Canada, travel overseas each year to learn from and play against the Indigenous youth teams in Canada in an athletic and cultural exchange.

Louis sees himself touring with the Boomerangs in the future, but for now he’s working on getting his skill level up so that when he’s old enough to join, he’ll glide straight in.

This year we partnered with the Queensland Family & Child Commission (QFFC) again. We awarded 16 scholarships across the South-East Queensland region.
To read all about the awards ceremony and the other winners, click here.
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