The program, which provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys, aged 9 to 18, with a kaleidoscope of personal development sessions, is starting to make its mark, with more than 15 boys participating on a weekly basis.
The personal development sessions touched on several key topics including drug, alcohol and crime awareness, goal-setting, self-esteem, and positive affirmations just to name a few.
The boys were given a chance to show their wares in the AFL 9’s Maali Cup, a 6 month competition which will lead into the 2013 Nicky Winmar Cup and potential exhibition matches in the Swans District Junior Competition.
The boys are already showing signs of leadership potential and maturity over the past four months and the Maali Academy, which is proudly supported by Bendigo Bank's Forrestfield and High Wycombe Branches, as well as Forrestfield Football Club, is looking forward to seeing these boys develop as solid role models for their community.
The Bendigo Bank Maali Academy, which is also open to non-Indigenous boys in the suburbs of Forrestfield, High Wycombe, Kalamunda and Maida Vale, embraces natural talent whilst teaching life skills in a safe and positive environment. The Bendigo Bank Maali Academy also acts as a mentoring support program, which utilises football as a tool to engage participants in the Swans District Junior Competition.
V Swans Community Development Officer, Danny Penny and WAFC District Manager for the Swans District, Isaac Stewart utilise positive role models and special guest speakers throughout the course of the program to ensure maximum engagement and participation.
Some of the role models and guest speakers include SDFC stars Jarrhan Jacky, Marlon Motlop and Michael Walters and League Coach Greg Harding. The program will also utililse local Indigenous Elders to build strong links and relationships with all the participants and their families.
The Maali Academy also hopes to develop greater awareness of the WAFL coaching, playing and umpiring pathways, thus generating a greater sense of wellbeing amongst participants.
The Maali Academy recognises the support of its principal sponsor Bendigo Bank Forrestfield and High Wycombe Branch and key community partners including the Swans District Football Development Council (SDFDC), SDFC, V Swans, West Australian Football Commission (WAFC), Forrestfield Football Club and the Shire of Kalamunda.