Around the world street football has turned many violent, crime-ridden neighbourhoods into zones where calm, respect and friendly competition replaces the normal status and youths set up their own activities under any available street light with a ball and jumpers. Eyes on the street and a sense of purpose and aim redefine the neighbourhoods these activities ‘spring up’ in.
This proactive youth engagement strategy is designed to intervene in areas of most need where kids go bored and commonly fall into undesirable statistical categories.
With the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Youth Engagement Scheme funding, Football West is engaging communities that lack resources for effective community programs, safe places to play, and willing and able adult mentors.
The research on the benefits of youth after-school and sports-based community programs has found that physical activity, and sports in particular, can positively affect:
- goal setting
- classroom attendance
- prevalence of aggressive behaviour
- requires a ball and space to get started, but we added structure, colour, music and festivity
- has the support of Western Australia Police, various local governments, the WA State Government and a wide range of service providers concerned with the health and wellbeing of at-risk children and families
- brings service providers to the program to meet and discuss how youths can improve their lives and make the best decisions
- will bring further opportunities to youths through coaching and refereeing courses aimed at turning rebellion into leadership
- targets primarily youth at risk, especially low-socio economic, high crime and highly multicultural areas
- is pop-up style, adaptable to a wide range of areas, surfaces and surrounds to suit events and prime focus areas
- delivers two-hour sessions, suitable for youths physical sustainability and attention spans, taking breaks for a focus on stakeholder guests and themes
- is Smarter than Smoking and Drug Free with healthy eating