THE Cairns Safe Streets soccer games will be kicking new goals at Edmonton at the end of the month.
Street Soccer began in 2013 as a way of tackling juvenile delinquency by providing an outlet for primary school students.
Over the past year, street soccer has been held weekly in the western suburbs, through a partnership between Cairns Safer Streets, Australian Red Cross, PCYC indigenous Programs, Cairns Regional Council and Centacare.
Cairns Safer Streets project manager Detective Senior Sergeant Kev Goan said hundreds of young people had already participated in the free activity.
“Street soccer was kicked off as a local response to local concerns about children wandering the streets with nothing to do,” Det Snr Sgt. Goan said.
“Over the past year, we’ve had a fantastic turnout at these games, with children, teenagers and families taking part in 40 free soccer events in four different locations in west Cairns.”
Sergeant Goan said the idea was to get kids active and play- ing sport at a young age to give them
“It’s a long-term vision. Youth boredom is certainly an issue, but the broader message is inclusion, and that’s what we’re hoping to get by expanding the numbers,” he said.
“Overall, the long-term benefits are carrying that community engagement into adolescence.”
The Safer Streets program recently successfully applied to the council to put up soccer goals at Shang Park (Mooroobool) and Pumeri Park (Manunda).
Street Soccer co-ordinator Javier Suarez said they were looking for more partnerships to keep the momentum going.
“At the moment, we’re partnered with the Tigers, but we’d like to get more clubs involved” he said.
“We’re looking to find a club and another school to support us down south.”
Street Soccer is played after school every Tuesday at West Cairns State School at Manunda and every Friday at Shang Park at Mooroobool.
Games will start at Ravizza Park at Edmonton on Monday, April 30.
GAME ON: Shukuru Nsengiyumva, Darpin Subba and Arish Subba play street soccer at Cairns West State School as part of the Safestreets program.