The 2018 Swan Districts Football Club Strategic Plan lists ‘developing people’ as a key objective for the organisation. ‘Continuing to develop people’ would be a more accurate statement, as the club has been prolific in creating opportunities for countless individuals throughout its lifetime.
For over a decade, V Swans the Swan Districts Football Club’s very successful community arm, has been integral to youth development throughout the Pilbara region of WA. The club facilitates a range of youth and Indigenous programs including Kicking Goals and Shooting Goals, specialist sport education programs that integrate AFL football, basketball and netball with the Western Australian education curriculum.
Delivered by V Swans, in collaboration with West Coast Eagles and the club’s major partner BHP, Kicking Goals is one of Australia’s largest regional-based professional league football mentorship programs and consistently produces successful outcomes. Incorporating Certificate II in Sport and Recreation and Certificate II in Sports Coaching into the state’s standard learning requirements for secondary school students, Kicking Goals enables participants to gain nationally recognised industry qualifications, directly contributing to year 12 WACE attainment, higher education opportunities and future employment readiness.
Kicking Goals student of the year, Kane Edwards (17) is currently continuing his academic and football journey in Perth following the successful achievement of his qualifications and program completion. Edwards was recruited by the club and recently made his debut with the Swan Districts Colts team. “There aren’t many opportunities [in Port Hedland] really,” he said. “There’s been a lot of help through that program. It’s helped me get noticed … it’s helped me be more confident. There’s no limits, that’s what I’ve learnt from the program,” said Edwards.
Annual reports indicate the Kicking Goals and Shooting Goals programs have had a positive impact on student attendance and participation, high school retention rates and the number of students successfully completing year 12. It’s evident the Swan’s goal to develop people is paving the pathway for Pilbara’s youth to achieve their dreams and they’re certainly rising up to the challenge, matching the club goal for goal.
Thank you to V Swans Major Partner BHP and the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
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