ABOUT 30 at-risk indigenous teenage boys from the Swan Districts region are participating in a pilot program established by Swan Districts Football Club.
The 10-week Maali Academy program, supported by the WA Football Commission, the City of Swan, Midland PCYC, Outcare Youth Services and Healthway, has already kicked goals, with two of the participants selected in a Swans development squad.
WAFC district manager Isaac Stewart said role models such as V Swans development manager Peter Matera and guest speakers from community organisations delivered life skills coaching to the teens.
“The Maali Academy is seeking to address several issues in the community, such as domestic and non-domestic violence, burglary, alcohol and drug abuse and property damage,” he said.
“The key aims nclude increasing community engagement, reducing crime, improving health, nutrition and self-esteem, increasing awareness of the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, promoting respect for women and the community and increasing participation in community football.”
Matera said 80 per cent of the participants had joined or re-joined football clubs as a result of the program.