While some of his teammates were travelling the world in their off-season break, SUNS midfielder Anthony Miles was hard at work.
But it wasn’t the same gruelling work that goes into an AFL pre-season training session, instead Miles was out helping the community.
The 27-year-old travelled to the Philippines with his brother and a mate from Victoria to spend a week with Kids International Ministries – a non-profit charity which aims to break the cycle of poverty by loving, teaching and serving.
Staying an hour outside of capital Manilla, Miles travelled to a number of communities in the area to feed and interact with thousands of Filipino children.
“We basically used the ministry as a bit of a base and then went around to different communities around that area,” Miles told SUNS Media.
“The furthest place we went to was probably a 40 or 50-minute drive and we did some feedings most days which was pretty cool.
“There’s a lot of different areas and Kids International do a great job in sourcing out different communities and going to see the needs of those.
“In a way it still feels like you’re not doing much at all really, just scratching the surface but they do a fantastic job and do something like 15,000 meals a month which is just awesome.”
Poverty is a prevalent issue in the area.
Some kids grow up without even seeing the inside of a classroom.
In one community Miles visited there was a single nurse who once delivered five babies in one day on her own.
To combat the effects of poverty, Kids International Ministries cook hundreds of kilograms of rice daily, with protein mixed in, to feed the masses.
Miles said it was eye-opening, but ultimately rewarding experience.
“We did a bit of serving – you’d get the ladles and the kids would come up with their cups and you feed them and help out.
There were a lot of kids there and they were all so happy walking down the street you’d get high fives and fist bumps, the lot.
“I thought going over there it was going to be what I could do potentially to help but it was more what the kids did in my life that probably helped me more than how I helped them so that was the most rewarding thing.”
“I suppose it makes you realise how fortunate we are here and how fortunate I am to be in the position of being an elite athlete.”
“It’s a bit different from your usual off-season trip but I did enjoy it for sure.”
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