Country Week has proven to be a catalyst for renewed school spirit in some communities this year.
Like many others, Karratha Senior High School was impacted by the many challenges brought about by the COVID pandemic over the past couple of years, with some students losing the sense of team spirit that Country Week aims to foster.
But Karratha will make the long trek to Perth again this year and is excited to be back.
They are eyeing off a strong comeback too, with a remarkable increase in their team size.
"This year, we are taking a team of 123 students, which is a big increase from our 67 students last year," said Stacey Harper, Head of Learning - Health and Physical Education from Karratha Senior High School.
"The students' enthusiasm has been reignited, and they have been training since Term 4, demonstrating their dedication to the event and the desire to reclaim their position among the participating schools."
For some students, especially those in their final years of study, Country Week sits among the most anticipated events of the year.
It provides students from every region of WA, with a chance to showcase their skills, build lasting friendships, and experience something new, all away from home. Some are a long way from home.
It also brings together some students who have never participated in a sporting competition as big as Country Week before.
Country Week, held the week starting 26 June, brings senior high school students from all over the state together in Perth to battle out competitions in basketball, dance, AFL football, hockey, indoor cricket, netball, soccer, speech and debating, touch and volleyball.
Country Week coordinator, Peter Smith, says it is often the highlight of their school year and for some the first time they have been to Perth.
"To see Christmas Island win the volleyball competitions against bigger schools and older students, to witness the rivalry between Albany and Bunbury schools, to see the smiles on all of the kids' faces, they are some of my favourite parts of the week" Peter said ahead of next week’s event.
Some moments showcase the exciting talent and absolute determination of students and also reflect what Country Week is all about - celebrating achievements, both big and small.
Sports are played at Perth’s main sporting venues, such as Bendat Basketball Centre, UWA Sports Park, HBF Stadium and the WA Netball Centre. For more information, including schedules and updates, visit the official website.