Media releases

June 23, 2014

St Vincent De Paul Society receives 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant

The Medibank Community Fund (MCF) has awarded a $10,000 community grant to St Vincent de Paul Society, Youth Reach in Brookvale, New South Wales.

The grant will fund an eight week mixed basketball tournament held on Saturday nights at the Northern Beaches Indoor Sports Centre (NBISC) Warriewood. The tournament will actively engage 100 young people, not just in sports activities, but across a range of issues including education, employment and training, community leadership and healthy lifestyles.

A weekly coaching clinic that teaches young people the skills required to referee basketball competitions will also be incorporated, resulting in potential employment opportunities at NBISC.

Medibank Retail State Manager for NSW, Dilan Perera said the program embraced the Medibank Community Fund's priorities of promoting healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness -the key selection criteria for the MCF grants program.

"Medibank employees on our Regional Council from across NSW, expressed overwhelming support for St Vincent de Paul Society's application because their program supports and engages youth through a team sport and gives young people suffering from low self-esteem with limited social skills, the real life skills that can boost their confidence, bring them closer to enjoyable employment opportunities and improve their mental and physical health", said Mr Perera.

"The Medibank Community Fund grants program supports local, grassroots initiatives that aim to create a lasting and positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the community and St Vincent de Paul Society and its youth reach basketball tournament are doing just that".

St Vincent de Paul Society's John Kelly said the tournament as well as the clinic will have a focus on participants' overall wellbeing, including physical and mental health, lifestyle choices such as drugs, alcohol and crime and other risk taking behaviours.

"The clinic aims to engage vulnerable young people who are at risk of disengaging from education, their families and their communities. Many of the barriers for this group of young people are due to low socio economic background, issues relating with conflict and anger management as well as difficulties in cultural understanding", said Mr Kelly.

"Due to limited family support or the financial capacity to participate in organised recreation and sport, many young people have not experienced positive group or team activities and have a reluctance to become involved in group sports.

"We address those kinds of issues by providing the Basketball tournament, transport, catering and uniform hire for free giving 100 young people a real opportunity to participate in an activity that is high energy, structured and could lead to long term employment as a referee."

St Vincent de Paul Society is one of 42 recipients chosen from more than 900 applications across Australia and New Zealand to receive a 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant.

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