Boys streets ahead

East Perth captain Tom Jervis talks to his young charges.
East Perth captain Tom Jervis talks to his young charges.

Dubbed the Edmund Rice Eagles, they are a collaboration between the Edmund Rice Centre in Mirrabooka, which works with migrant and Aboriginal youth, and the East Perth Basketball Association.

In their first game, the Eagles beat the East Perth U15s 64-53 while the second game saw them lose to the East Perth development squad by just five points, 52-47.

‘The boys really showed a lot of heart, particular in the second match,’ Edmund Rice Centre youth programs co-ordinator Joe Moniodis said.

‘We had a number of players out and only one sub taking on a team with a full rotation ” the boys really gave everything.’

Mr Moniodis said the aim of bringing structured programs to local parks and courts was to reduce anti-|social behaviour and improve community harmony.

‘Most of these young people play street ball or pickup all the time but this program is designed to allow them to achieve their full potential,’ he said.

‘All of the areas immediately surrounding Koondoola are culturally very diverse and have a rich mix of sporting talent, but some of the kids in the area face tremendous barriers, particularly accessing development opportunities.’

East Perth team captain Tom Jervis, who helps train the Eagles, said it was a two-way street.

‘It’s great to come out and see some of the raw talent on display on the local courts and they get right behind us when we play ” their support really makes a difference,’ he said.