Football Victoria is proud to partner with the Victorian Government for The Empowering Lives through Football initiative, designed to connect with disengaged young people across the state through an early intervention program.
In September, Parliamentary Secretary for Crime Prevention Frank McGuire announced $150,000 in funding for the program, which will draw on skills developed on the football field to inspire self-improvement.
The program is designed to encourage better decision making by at-risk young people by building a greater sense of belonging and boosting positive engagement, such as school attendance and connection with family and friends, that can help prevent offending.
Up to 50 participants between 12 and 16 years old will engage in eight sessions that vary from one-to-one and small group settings. Throughout the pandemic these will primarily be delivered online.
The program will prioritise participants across the Ballarat, Brimbank, Melton, Greater Dandenong, Moreland and Hume regions. Participants will be nominated by Victoria Police, council staff and service providers.
The program will also give an opportunity to refer young people and their families to on-going support services.
The Empowering Lives through Football initiative is part of the Victorian Government’s Sports Alliance. The Alliance was set up in June 2020 as a coordinated effort to build the capacity of the sport and recreation sector to address the causes of crime and build safer, more connected Victorian communities.
Minister for Crime Prevention, Natalie Hutchins reiterated that early intervention is key.
“We are always looking for better ways to prevent crime – this evidence-driven initiative with Football Victoria is another example of how we are getting to the root causes of crime by supporting at-risk young people.”
Football Victoria Interim CEO, Kimon Taliadoros, believes the world game is uniquely positioned to deliver outcomes.
“This is football’s opportunity to take responsibility for supporting those people who also deserve an opportunity to participate fully in life”, he said.
“We all know the power of sport. It brings people together, to share good times and bad times; to build friendships and relationships.
“We’re determined to succeed, to provide alternatives and hopefully some great outcomes for young people who need our support.”