Koondoola: Banksia United reaches new heights in Aboriginal youth sport engagement

Children from the Banksia United soccer team.
Children from the Banksia United soccer team.

FROM seven years of persistence, a soccer program for Aboriginal youths has grown into a multi-sport hub in Koondoola and one of the northern suburbs’ most important community assets.

The Edmund Rice Centre’s Banksia United Aboriginal Multisport Program began as a soccer team in 2011, but this weekend marks its official re-launch as something much bigger.

One of its most recent initiatives was six weeks of swimming training with Royal Life Saving, which attracted 32 participants.

It is a big leap from the program’s early days of weekly Saturday soccer sessions.

Co-ordinator Achol Madong explained they now introduced a new sport every six to eight weeks.

Children have access to a bus pick-up service organised through a partnership with Relationships Australia.

“The program relaunch is a great opportunity for the community to witness the talent and skill that our participants have demonstrated throughout the program,” she said.

“Most importantly, it is a chance for the participants and the community to learn about the history of Banksia United and the impact it has had on families, the community, and the staff and volunteers.”