Program targeting adolescent girls and engaging them in community sport using a collaborative and supportive approach to individuals, families, schools and community clubs. Team Connect creates a link between secondary schools and local community junior cricket clubs that supports adolescent girls to participate in organized sport, with the aim of developing a sense of belonging and commitment to their community. In relation to Team Connect, cricket is simply a vector for building stronger communities.
In a healthy community, I believe it is the responsibility of everyone to help support and protect our young people. There is often support for tangible needs, such as food, shelter and education. It is the less tangible factors, such as a sense of belonging and an understanding of healthy relationships, that can sometimes be left unaddressed. For a child, having a sense of belonging and a connection to community may be one of the many factors that lead to a healthy and productive adulthood.
For many children in Perth, being a member of a team and a local community sporting club are an inherent part of growing up. Aside from the sporting skills, children in this environment may learn responsibility, respect, commitment, and an understanding of what it means to feel valued.
I believe, however, that community sport has unfortunately become a privilege to which not all children have access. Those children who do not have access, for a wide range of reasons, to the benefits of community engagement are often those who would benefit most. All girls should be offered the opportunity to be involved in community sport and have access to ongoing support as needed. Offering adolescent girls the opportunity to play team sport at a local club can create important connections with their local community and may lead to positive lifelong relationships.
The aim of Team Connect is to create a link between secondary schools and local community junior cricket clubs that supports vulnerable adolescent girls to participate in organized sport, with the aim of developing a sense of belonging and commitment to their community. In relation to Team Connect, cricket is simply a vector for building stronger communities.