We are delighted to receive a Federal Government Department of Home Affairs Safer Communities Grant to develop a new prevention program that provides positive pathways for Victoria’s vulnerable young people to engage with soccer and develop life skills.
The Positive Kick Soccer Program will be run by One Ball in collaboration with the Parkville Youth Justice Centre and Victoria Police. The free program will engage youth aged 12-17 years old, with a focus on youth at risk, with weekly soccer training consisting of warmups, drills, friendly matches, skills development practice and a positive character lesson. Participants will also engage in character strengths identification workshops and be mentored to develop work-ready skills, reach their full potential, and make positive contributions to their communities.
At One Ball, we believe team sport provides opportunities for social connections and improves not only physical health but also mental wellbeing. However, we recognise there are often barriers for youth at risk to get involved. Reports have identified a significant number of young people in Melbourne’s marginalised regions are facing considerable challenges and at risk of becoming caught up in criminal activities. Receiving this important funding will help us to deliver the program throughout the City of Casey, City of Brimbank, as well as South Melbourne Park Towers and the Parkville Youth Justice Centre areas.
One Ball’s Founder and Director, Kamal Ibrahim, said the program is driven by his work with youth justice centres where he provided mentorship through sports as well as by his lived experience with finding support, empowerment, and encouragement through soccer during his youth. “Through football (soccer) I learnt skills; skills that helped me on and off the field.
I looked forward to my games each week, my team was my ‘family’, I had a sense of acceptance and a way of communicating without having to speak, I learnt how to work as a team, improve myself as an individual, I was supported in a fun and safe environment. Football has given me opportunities that I never expected. Football gave me the opportunity to represent Australia and Victoria on a national level and I was given the opportunity to travel the world. It gave me that sense of encouragement to do more with my life and that with hard work anything can be achieved.” Thank you to Parkville Youth Justice Centre, Victoria Police, Department of Home Affairs and the wider One Ball community for your ongoing support with this project. We look forward to working together to achieve positive community outcomes and to promote the power of sport to change lives.