14 February, 2014


How Rodeo Helps Our Community.

If you do a little, we all accomplish a lot.
Rodeo has been and still is an integral social event on the communities calender. It is an event that allows people of all ages to have a night out and relax. It gives the young people of the community somewhere to go that is a controlled environment. Many tourists visit, with a lot of them never having seen a rodeo before. For a small entry fee, they become part of our community. Again this is an event for the travelling public and another reason for them to visit our community. Tourism brings business to small communities.

Due to the location of communities, like Tambo, competitors and their family and friends have to travel to get here. This travel means that other towns/communities and their business benefit as well with sales of fuel, food, accommodation, horse feed and vehicle repairs . Events such as rodeos support every business in this small community – from fuelling the trucks, to food & drinks, fodder and accommodation. Some services are sought some 200kms away, in major centres. We also run in conjunction with neighbouring rodeo’s so that there is added incentive for people to attend, two rodeo’s, one weekend

An example of how a rodeo assists businesses and community groups.
The town of Tambo has a population of 300 people. At the recent rodeo in August this year, 750 people came through the gate and spent approximately $200 each at the venue on food and drinks, entry fee and entertainment. Labour and service from the local council employees, electricial, builder, campdraft committee and volunteers – all in kind. Sponsorship for prizemoney and running costs from businesses and cattle stations in the area.

Being socially interactive, is beneficial to our community in these negative times, both for the health and wellbeing of the entire community. For just one day, the community unites to forget their woes of drought and misery, to lend a hand and have a yarn. This type of therapy is essential for mental health and social skills.

The challenges and solutions in rural communities differ from those in metropolitan areas. In connected communities, people help and support one another. However the strength that comes with connectedness mean that people are less likely to seek help when they need it for fear of stigma and rejection. This can and does impact on the mental health and wellbeing on individuals, families and communities and can lead to tragic outcomes.
Social interaction is important because it promotes feelings of acceptance and understanding; promotes happiness and fulfilment; reduces stress and blood pressure; reduces susceptibility to illness and disease; provides opportunities to talk about problems and feelings; and encourages sport, exercise and outdoor activities.

A strong resilient community is one that supports people who seek help and puts in place mechanisms that reach out to people who need help, even though they have not asked for it.

Competitors approach life the same way they approach Rodeo – with honesty, commitment and a good sense of humour.
Through floods and droughts, job loss and repeated requests from family and team players; it takes a health scare to realise we all have to look after ourselves.
Fitness, Training and a Laugh! Knowing that others are concerned gives motivation to attend events or meetings when one least feels like it.
This is the Best medicine to do something – It makes a difference.

Depression often just creeps up and one does not see it coming. During drought, feeding stock, fighting the government on issues – physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and one does not realise where you are heading. Our community reaches out, offers help for those in need.
Being a volunteer for a day, assisting others, changes one’s focus.

Rodeos provide strength to communities to remain united and supportive. They provide opportunities of communication, sportsmanship and keep the younger generation involved in worthy causes to feel valued and cherished.

In communities, such as Tambo (1000km NW of Brisbane), there are no shopping malls, cinemas, and entertainment, no rail or plane services.
Young people make their own and make it happen. This generation holds good jobs, their service is valued and respected to be leaders on different committees. Their voice is heard and attitude is everything.

A Rodeo in our community is more than just the image of a bucking bull or horse. Country people value their stock, just like the contractors who own the rodeo stock.
Horsemanship and stock handling is the Australian way of life. They are highly skilled employees on big cattle stations, who take pride in what they can achieve, whilst also being highly competitive in many horse sports.
Without these community events, like the annual rodeo, show, polocross, pony club, campdraft or races the social fabric of the outback communities would unravel and people would then move away and these towns slowly die.

Article written by
Yvonne Finger, Qld Rodeo Association .

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