Kick along for indigenous kids

Justin FrisGeraldton Guardian
WACRH research assistant Lenny Papertalk and Football West Mid West administration officer Tanya Amazzini are excited about the “Soccer for Change” program.
Camera IconWACRH research assistant Lenny Papertalk and Football West Mid West administration officer Tanya Amazzini are excited about the “Soccer for Change” program. Credit: Justin Fris, The Geraldton Guardian

A new program designed to encourage young indigenous children in the Mid West to play soccer will be held between December 18 and 21 at Alexander Park in Geraldton.

Inspired by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology student Tim Flicker and embraced by West Australian Centre for Rural Health director Dr Sandra Thompson, the concept has been brought to life by a partnership involving Football West, Geraldton Aboriginal Sporting Corporation, WACRH and the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service.

Dubbed “Soccer for Change”, indigenous children between the ages of 12 and 17 will have the opportunity to learn soccer fundamentals, playing a variety of skill-based games and also have the opportunity to play in a World Cup-style soccer tournament on the final day of the program.

WACRH research assistant Lenny Papertalk and Football West Mid West administration officer Tanya Amazzini said the program was a great opportunity to introduce a different sport to indigenous communities throughout the Mid West.

“The whole reason behind the program is to expose young indigenous kids to soccer and make it more accessible for them,” Amazzini said.

“It will be great to get them out there and show them that there are other sports besides football and netball,” Papertalk said.

“They might enjoy it and be able to meet new friends and learn new skills.”

The Soccer for Change sign-on day will be held at the Stowe Gardens youth precinct on November 25, with the program free of charge for all participants.

“This is all new and we want to do it right,” Papertalk said.

“We want to try and get the message out to our young indigenous kids. They finish school on December 13th and kids get bored so we deliberately targeted the 18th to the 21st of December.”

For more information about the Soccer for Change program, call 9956 2189.

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