Midland to pioneer new Aboriginal soccer program

Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt with Football West representatives announcing a new indigenous soccer program. 491932p
Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt with Football West representatives announcing a new indigenous soccer program. 491932p

MIDLAND will play a key role in Football West’s new Aboriginal Community Soccer Program, which aims to promote sports participation, healthy lifestyles and potential soccer careers.

The program was launched last week at the Swan Italian Sporting Club, with a three-year, $750,000 funding commitment by the Federal Government.

“Working with Football West, we will now see children and young people being given an incredible opportunity to be part of an exciting sport, an international sport, a sport in which they can excel,” said Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt.

“There is great sporting prowess and I think we have the capability within our Aboriginal kids to see a Ronaldo emerge out of those communities.

“This is an exciting development with major potential because promoting a positive and active lifestyle is a key to better health and wellbeing.

“While playing soccer is lots of fun, the program is community based and will also focus on healthy choices including reducing alcohol, tobacco and drug use and improving mental health.

“Football West will work with each of the communities to design culturally appropriate football activities.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all age groups in Swan, Baldivis, Broome, Kununurra, Wyndham, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Roebourne and Karratha will benefit from the program.

Two full-time Aboriginal Development Officers will be employed to deliver the program, assisted by existing metropolitan and regional development officers.

Football West CEO James Curtis said Football West was proud to be supporting the local Aboriginal community groups to deliver soccer programs, including street soccer and futsal.

“The 40 small-sided soccer programs across 10 locations will be delivered to the whole community, including children, adults and elders,” he said.

“We are excited to be working with the local community to co-design and deliver programs that will ensure every member of the community can get involved.

“We want to make sure that Indigenous kids across WA really are part of the game, and we want to see it from the grassroots participation, having fun, positive community outcomes.

“But we do ultimately want to see them on the international stage representing Western Australia and Australia.”