Field of Dreams - Mildura, Australia.
THIS PROJECT WAS COMPLETED IN 2017. THREE for All Foundation continues to work with Mildura United Soccer Club as part of our Sporting Chance project.
The Mildura United Soccer Club has a dream - to give disadvantaged children and young people from across Sunraysia the chance to not only engage in sport, but also to connect in to education, health, employment and other services and supports. Most of United's players are Aboriginal, while others are from newly arrived communities or communities of entrenched socio-economic disadvantage, and some have intellectual disabilities or behavioural challenges. Many of them are disengaged from school, struggling with health and family issues, and would be unable to participate in sport and other organised community activities if it wasn't for the great work of United. THREE for All Foundation is helping United to strengthen and grow this great work by developing and delivering programs aimed at improving access to education and employment, strengthening the club's governance structures, building their skills and abilities to address challenging social issues, connecting the club to pro bono support, sourcing funds for their sporting and community programs, and building their connections to schools, health services and key community organisations such as the Mallee District Aboriginal Service.
Aim: To improve the lives of the most marginalised Aboriginal children and young people in North-west Victoria and South-west New South Wales, by increasing their community participation and their participation in education and health promoting activity.
Partner: Mildura United Soccer Club
Activities: Building formal partnerships between local schools and families and United, in order to support and improve the engagement of children at school; connecting United to training and employment programs to offer opportunities to the club's senior players; providing training to club volunteers and supporters focused on understanding children's wellbeing; mentoring and supporting the club's community development and youth workers (employed via a grant obtained by United with THREE's support); strengthening United by assisting the development of their governance structures; sourcing funds to maintain and grow their programs; developing promotional materials about the club and their work; connecting the club to other pro bono support; and building their connections to health services and key community organisations to improve the wellbeing of all players.
Why? A significant number of Aboriginal families in the area struggle with entrenched poverty and social isolation. For some, alcohol and illicit drug use is a major challenge, as is family violence. The children in these families have low participation rates in schooling, and very low social participation outside their own immediate neighbourhoods. Through participation in sport the children develop confidence and skills, and mix in a pro-social and structured way with other children and adults. United have the strong support of the Indigenous community, and several Aboriginal people serve on the United committee of management.
United also supports the participation of young people from newly arrived and refugee communities, such as children from Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; encourages and supports children with intellectual disabilities to play; and works with community services across the region to include players who may be on child protection or youth justice orders, in out-of-home care, or who struggle with behavioural challenges.
IN 2017 THIS PROJECT WAS FOLDED IN TO OUR NEW "SPORTING CHANCE" PROJECT