PERTH GLORY ENRICHING THE COMMUNITY

Perth’s soccer stars of the future are upping the ante in pre-season training with a difference, as part of an innovative pilot program engaging young migrants in soccer and life skills workshops, which kicked off earlier this month.

Perth-s soccer stars of the future are upping the ante in pre-season training with a difference, as part of an innovative pilot program engaging young migrants in soccer and life skills workshops, which kicked off earlier this month.

Up to 50 young people aged 12 to 18 from Perth-s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community are taking part in the five week How To Be A Good Sportsman program, which is a collaboration between Perth Glory, MercyCare, Life Without Barriers and the Australian Red Cross.

The program, based in the City of Stirling, aims to enable young participants to engage and make positive links with the community while learning valuable sporting and social skills, with an overarching holistic emphasis on positive behaviour, sportsmanship, respect and fair play.

MercyCare Community Care and Support Services Case Manager Stacey Spencer said the inaugural program of weekly workshops would cover topics including healthy eating, the benefits of sport and exercise, teamwork, respect and fair play - as well as special visits from Perth Glory stars.

“The idea is to get these young people out in the community, giving them the opportunity to have an insight into what it-s like being part of a soccer team - which is something they might not otherwise have a chance to be part of,” Spencer said.

“It-s not just about the soccer though - soccer is the hook for us to teach some really important life skills about looking after yourself through healthy eating, having positive self-esteem and exercising, as well as social skills and being part of a team while mixing with other young people in the community.”

Perth Glory Football Community and Development Manager Callum Salmon said How To Be A Good Sportsman had developed as a meaningful way to support the community, as the club is frequently approached to donate match-day tickets to various organisations and charities.

“We realised as a club we could be doing more to support young people in the community who enjoy soccer but who have limited resources to explore their sporting opportunities, beyond simply offering match-day tickets,” he said.

“As a result, the program is about taking a holistic approach to learning using strong positive role models through our Perth Glory players to push the key health and well-being messages. Being a five-week program, the other benefit is we retain the young people for a longer period to hopefully make a lasting impact.”

The final theoretical and practical session of the program was held 5.30pm - 6.30pm on Monday the 3rd of February at Dryandra Reserve in Mirrabooka and included player appearances from Jamie Maclaren, Ndumba Makeche and Isaka Cernak. The pilot program also saw the group being special guests of the Perth Glory for its game against the Melbourne Victory at nib stadium on January 31st.