Young people making a connection through sport

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Young people making a connection through sport

Sport is being used to connect with young people at Ashley Youth Detention Centre, through the Just Sports program, which will be launched on Thursday.

Thirteen young adults will travel regularly to the Deloraine centre, to share their faith in an active way as part of the program, which is coordinated by Catholic Youth Ministry’s (CYM) Rachelle Smith. 

Ms Smith said the idea came from the Australian Catholic Bishops’ yearly Social Justice Sunday Statement, which advocated using sport to promote an inclusive community and to live the mission of the Church.

“Young Australians connect well with sport as part of their culture,” she said.

“They also see social justice as an important societal and faith issue…so combining social justice and sport is a fantastic way to engage young people in the issues that are important to them.”

Meander Valley Parish priest Terry Yard, who has been visiting Ashley fortnightly for 14 years, said the Just Sports program gave students access to extra weekend activities and a chance to interact with other young people.

“The games are important but [this program is even more so] to let the young people know they are not forgotten.”

Ashley program coordinator Ben Burbury said the CYM Just Sports program visits would contribute to the development of many of the Centre’s young people’s awareness and networking opportunities, increase the diversity of programs on offer, as well as provide CYM volunteers with a worthwhile experience.

“I am sure that the CYM volunteers will find visiting Ashley a very positive experience and so will our young people,” he said.

The Just Sports program will run regularly in 2015.