Football West’s Street Football kicking goals among youth

stock image.
stock image.

A NEW Football West program is kicking goals among local disadvantaged youth.

Pick up games of Street Football are giving children and teenagers the opportunity to enjoy a modified version of soccer with their friends after school, using nothing more than jumpers for goalposts and a ball.

The program kicked off in Katanning in May before quickly spreading to include sessions in Gosnells, Armadale, Canning and Morley.

Football West inclusive development officer Elmi Ali said Street Football catered to a variety of ages, usually between eight and 18.

“For a variety of reasons not everyone wants or is able to participate in a structured competition yet they still want to play the game they love. This gives them the chance,” he said.

“Each session is for two hours on a ‘street’ lay-out in a round robin set up, with each individual game lasting about three minutes.

“The program is free and requires no registration, it’s a relaxed environment with pumping music and healthy street food.

“Our Street Football program is inclusive, pop-up style, adaptable to a wide range of areas and surfaces and it provides youngsters with an easy and accessible way to play football.”

Football West also provide trained coach-mentors who helped participants learn healthy lifestyle and behavioural habits.

“We have had strong support from the local community with each site having about 60 youngsters turning up,” Mr Ali said.

“WA Police are a core community engagement partner and kids are enjoying seeing police officers playing with them.

“Some of the reactions we’ve had include ‘I didn’t know police officers were cool’, ‘I use to be scared of police, but now they’re just like me’ and some providing cheeky/humorous comments such as ‘I nutmegged a police officer’.”

The Street Football program is about to move into Canning, with games held 3.30pm to 5.30pm every Tuesday from August 14 until September 4 at Hedley Park, Bentley.

Visit www.footballwest.com.au for more information.