New Sports Alliance To Support At-Risk Young People

  • Minister for Crime Prevention

The Victorian Government is joining forces with the state’s top sporting leagues to help at-risk young people stay on the right track.

Minister for Crime Prevention Ben Carroll today announced the establishment of a new Sports Alliance between sporting organisations and the Labor Government.

Backed by $1.4 million in funding from the Government, the Alliance will focus on supporting at-risk youth and addressing the causes of crime. It will deliver programs focused on engaging young people, building community connections, and supporting young offenders to turn their lives around.

Sports Alliance members include Nick Honey (CEO, Basketball Victoria), Dave Donaghy (CEO, Melbourne Storm), Peter Filopoulos (CEO, Football Victoria), Rosie King (CEO, Netball Victoria), Sam Graham (Head of States and Game Development, AFL) and Minister for Community Sport and Youth Ros Spence.

The Sports Alliance will also provide opportunities for sportspeople to contribute as mentors or program facilitators. This approach has won the support of Richmond AFL player Marlion Pickett, who has demonstrated the power of sport in turning around lives.

An initial focus will be on developing online resources to support vulnerable young people and communities, with community programs and initiatives to be developed as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions continue to ease.

The Alliance will support the establishment of Sports Academies in Victoria’s youth justice centres. This will see all young people in custody enrolled in either basketball, AFL, soccer, rugby league or All Abilities fitness programs.

As noted by Minister for Crime Prevention and Youth Justice Ben Carroll

“We’re partnering with Victoria’s major sporting leagues and using sport to help turn around the lives of young people in the justice system.”

As noted by Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Community Sport and Youth Ros Spence

“The Sports Alliance presents a new and exciting opportunity to build strong community connections and help change the lives of young Victorians.

As noted by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“It’s this kind of community leadership and collaboration that helps us build safer and stronger communities.”

As noted by Richmond AFL player Marlion Pickett

“I know firsthand that sport can change your life and provide opportunities that you never dreamed were possible – it helped me turn my life around and it could do the same for countless young people.”

As noted by Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy

“Melbourne Storm is a club that aims to be leaders on and off the field – through this partnership we hope to inspire and help young people to reach their potential and become leaders in their own right.”

As noted by Captain of the Melbourne Vixens Kate Moloney

“Sport is much more than just physical activity, it provides young people with a sense of belonging and skills like teamwork, self-control and leadership.”

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