Reds launch Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Youth Program

Adelaide United Football Club has teamed up with The Northern Territory Government and Football in Central Australia to deliver a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Youth Program in Central Australia.

Adelaide United Football Club has teamed up with The Northern Territory Government and Football in Central Australia to deliver a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Youth Program in Central Australia.

The program is an initiative of the Adelaide United Football Club that will allow selected Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth (males and females) to be identified and given the opportunity to gain the experience and skills that are required to be successful in their lives and the activities they choose to pursue.

The ATSI program was officially launched today in Alice Springs with Adelaide United player Cassio, Assistant Coach Pau Marti and former Lady Red Ruth Wallace joining NT Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Matt Conlan and other distinguished guests to make the exciting announcement.

“This new program is an exciting aspect of the Government-s partnership with Adelaide United,” said Minister Matt Conlan today. “Our agreement is about much more than bringing A-League Pre-season games to the Centre. It is about using a sport like football as a catalyst for young Indigenous people throughout Central Australia to gain a wide range of life skills, knowledge and experiences that can help them become positive member of their communities.

“The program will not just be about football - it will also focus on culture, leadership, education and training and the importance of school attendance. Indigenous youths in our communities are amongst the most vulnerable in the country. But it is hoped this program will help set them on a path to a meaningful life.

“Having a full-time Development Officer with links to Adelaide United based in the Centre, will significantly help with the development of our junior players and improve their pathways to the elite level.

The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Program will be rolled out in six locations across Central Australia at: Tangentyere Council (Alice Springs), Football in Central Australia (Alice Springs), Yulara, MacDonnell Shire, Central Desert shire and Tennant Creek.

It includes and 8-10 week program for year levels 5,6,7,8 and 9 and will be led by Alice Springs based AUFC Development Officer, Diego Gomez who played in the FC Barcelona Youth Team for 4 years and has now gained his coaching accreditation. Much of his football background is aligned with current Reds coach Josep Gombau allowing the youth of Central Australia to follow the philosophy of Adelaide United and hopefully begin to develop players who represent Adelaide United and one day the Socceroos.

The Territory Government-s two-year agreement with the Adelaide United Football Club includes the Youth Program, other training and development initiatives and will also see AUFC play a Pre-season match against Melbourne Heart in Alice Springs in August 2014. The match will be preceded by a curtain raiser between an Indigenous team and an Alice Springs representative side.