May 31, 2018
Many Foundation Housing residents enjoy playing sport but can face barriers such as the cost of sporting equipment and joining fees or connections to sporting clubs. It’s unfortunate, as playing in a team and the social aspects that come with it can be very beneficial to their overall wellbeing. However a new initiative with Reclink Australia is enabling residents of the Hampton Road Lodging House to join in and enjoy sport.
Reclink Australia provides evidence-based sport programs to disadvantaged Australians to create socially inclusive, life-changing opportunities. One of their opportunities is the Reclink Australia 2018 AFL 9s series, a series of matches scheduled every fortnight for the next few months at various WAFL grounds around Perth.
Reclink Australia recently introduced an AFL based program at Hampton Road which has seen a number of residents having a go at sport for the first in time in many years. Foundation Housing Lodging Coordinator, SallyAnn has been working with Reclink to promote the program within the lodge and has encouraged residents to come out and kick a ball around at weekly training sessions. An initial successful introductory session at Hampton Road included a visit from North Melbourne player Liam Anthony, as well some footy related prizes and a sausage sizzle. From this session a small group of residents have now formed the Hampton Bulldogs and are taking part in the AFL 9s series.
The team were helped by Foundation Housing with transportation and Reclink arranged spare footy boots for the matches. One resident’s eyes lit up with happiness when he was handed the boots, saying, “Are you sure mate, maybe someone else needs them more.” Another resident said they enjoyed the social side of the match which included friendly competition and a post-game sausage sizzle,
SallyAnne said one of the best things about the activities was seeing the boost it provided to many resident’s self-esteem as their football skills were recognised by their peers.
The Bulldogs were defeated by the Bobtails at their first match, but will be looking for a win when they next play their fortnightly match.