Mak­ing a pitch to lo­cal youth

Canning Times - - NEWS - d485325 Jes­sica Nico

A NEW Foot­ball West pro­gram is achiev­ing its goals with lo­cal youth.

Games of Street Foot­ball is giv­ing chil­dren and teenagers the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a mod­i­fied ver­sion of soccer with their friends af­ter school, us­ing noth­ing more than jumpers for goal­posts and a ball.

The pro­gram kicked off in Katan­ning in May be­fore quickly spread­ing to Gos­nells, Ar­madale, Can­ning and Mor­ley.

Foot­ball West in­clu­sive devel­op­ment of­fi­cer Elmi Ali said Street Foot­ball catered to a va­ri­ety of ages, usu­ally from eight to 18.

“For a va­ri­ety of rea­sons not ev­ery­one wants or is able to par­tic­i­pate in a struc­tured com­pe­ti­tion yet they still want to play the game they love; this gives them the chance,” he said.

“Each ses­sion is for two hours on a ‘street’ lay­out in a round robin set-up, with each in­di­vid­ual game last­ing about three min­utes.

“The pro­gram is free and re­quires no reg­is­tra­tion; it’s a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment with pump­ing mu­sic and healthy street food. Our pro­gram is in­clu­sive, pop-up style, adapt­able to a range of ar­eas and sur­faces and pro­vides young­sters with an easy and ac­ces­si­ble way to play foot­ball.”

Foot­ball West also pro­vide trained men­tors who help par­tic­i­pants learn healthy lifestyle and be­havioural habits.

“WA Po­lice are a core com­mu­nity en­gage­ment part­ner and kids are en­joy­ing seeing po­lice of­fi­cers play­ing with them,” Mr Ali said.

The pro­gram is about to move into Can­ning, with games held 3.30pm to 5.30pm ev­ery Tues­day from August 14 to Septem­ber 4 at Hed­ley Park, Bent­ley. Visit www.foot­ball­west.com.au.

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