Premier Alan Carpenter today announced a $2million expansion of a successful football academy to tackle school attendance and participation for indigenous boys.
Mr Carpenter said the money would be spent on extending the East Kimberley Clontarf Football Academy over the next five years, with new programs at Halls Creek District High School and an expansion of the existing academy at Kununurra.
“These programs have been very successful in providing positive experiences for indigenous students in their communities, both in promoting self-esteem and sporting prowess,” the Premier said.
“Two new programs will be established at Halls Creek District High School for indigenous boys in Years Five to Seven, and Years Eight to 12,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the existing academy based at Kununurra, which targets students in Years Eight to 12, will be expanded to include a primary program for Years Five to Seven.”
The $2million is in addition to the $6.2million the State Government has spent on the Clontarf Foundation’s football academies across WA over the past four years.
Mr Carpenter said the Clontarf Football Academy was remarkable because it used Australian Rules Football as a vehicle to engage and involve indigenous boys at school.
“Students at the Academy are provided with high quality coaching, specialist physical conditioning, health education and mentoring in life skills,” he said.
“In return, students must agree to attend school regularly, apply themselves to their studies and embrace the academy’s requirements for behaviour and self-discipline.”
Central Kimberley-Pilbara MLA Tom Stephens said the programs provided a positive environment for students to develop sporting and social skills.
Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said it was a very exciting program which had proven to be effective in lifting attendance rates and boosting the opportunities available to those students taking part.
At the completion of Year 12, students receive help in finding employment and are provided with advice and support.
The Clontarf Foundation currently operates football academies at seven public school sites, six in regional areas and one in the Perth metropolitan area.
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