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Source: Government of Queensland

Youth Justice workers and the National Rugby League (NRL) have teamed up for the first time to help troubled teens in Bundaberg find a positive new direction.

The 10 young people are participants in the Queensland Government’s Transition to Success (T2S) program, which provides alternative education and vocational training for young offenders and at-risk youth.

T2S seeks to develop young people’s behavioural and social skills, while also enabling them to gain nationally recognised certificate qualifications.

An evaluation showed 67 percent of graduates don’t go on to offend within 12 months of doing the program, and 95 percent go on to further education, training or employment.

Youth Minister Di Farmer said the NRL has been working with the students under the Australian Government’s ‘Find Your 30’ initiative, which encourages physical activity.

“The physical training has not only kept them active over the past five weeks, it’s also built their foundational skills like teamwork and communication, which they’ll need for the workforce or further education,” Ms Farmer said.

“This culminated in a gala day where they played the local Western Suburbs football team, so they could put their new skills into practice.”

Wide Bay NRL non-contact development officer, Corey Tanner, said sport was an effective way of reducing boredom and anti-social behaviour in young people.

“We saw this as a great opportunity to help the build the self-confidence of T2S participants, while highlighting the physical, social and mental benefits that come from 30 minutes of activity each day,” Mr Tanner said.

“Rugby league is very popular with some of these teens, so we wanted to harness this interest to produce broader benefits.”

Ms Farmer said the partnership helped remove barriers faced by some families.

“Unfortunately, costs and transport challenges prevent some young people from participating in sport,” she said.

“The involvement of the NRL ensures disadvantaged youth are included and promotes a sense of community.

“It also shows how businesses and community groups can join our efforts to reduce youth offending and improve community safety.”

Media Contact:  Jim Devine 3719 7336 or 0427 475 089

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