Sometimes the NSW State Gateball Championships isn’t just about the games that are played and the people who attend.
Whilst a gateballer was putting some rubbish in the bin, a baby galah (soon to be known as Kevin) who was too young to fly was discovered. He must have been blown out of the tree in the strong winds the night before. Kevin was asked a number of times where his mother and father were but he was not willing to answer. His mother must have told him not to talk to strangers.
Animal DOCs (WIRES) was contacted and they advised that Kevin be placed in a box away from humans to encourage his parents to come and find him. Kevin was more than willing to hop in the box and be placed in the shade. He even had a snooze.
Kevin’s mum and dad soon made an appearance. Both mum and dad took it in turns feeding Kevin to help build up his strength and also giving him some cuddles. Throughout the day gateballers from all over continued to check on his wellbeing. Kevin was even kind enough to pose for photos for the visiting Japanese team.
At 2:00 pm DOCS called back to check on Kevin’s progress. As he had not yet flown away they advised that they would need to come and collect him and put him in a foster home. When Kevin was told this news he decided to hop out of the box and try and make a run for it. Unfortunately for him his tiny legs couldn’t carry him fast enough and he was placed back in the box. DOCS was booked in to come and collect Kevin at 5:00 pm.
Both Kevin’s mum and dad took it in turns jumping on the box with Kevin jumping onto the ground, climbing onto the rock and then flying up into the tree. This ‘education session’ continued for around two hours. About 4:00 pm it appeared as though mum and dad had given up on Kevin, they just sat high in a tree watching him.
At 4:28 pm, as two gateballers went to check on Kevin, there was a rustle in the box and then Kevin flew! He only flew about 4 metres but this was more than enough. Mum and Dad then swooped down towards Kevin, who took off and the three of them flew off into the distance. DOCS was contacted and advised that Kevin had decided that he could fly. DOCS said this was a wonderful end to the story.
The story of Kevin has resulted in the introduction of The “Kevin” Award at Jamberoo Croquet Club. This award is presented to the gateball player who, like Kevin, is patient and has risen to higher levels.