Member for Hastings Neale Burgess and Reclink CEO John Ballis met in Hastings to support the re-establishment of the Westernport Warriors Football Team for disadvantaged young people in the Hastings and Somerville areas and to invite the team to re-join the annual Reclink Football fixture.
Reclink Australia will be raising funds through the 2017 Great Peninsula Paddle to be held in Sorrento on Australia Day to reinstate the Western Port Warriors Football Team.
The Team was very effective in helping all those involved to gain confidence and motivation to improving their general health and wellbeing while at the same time helping players gain employment and undertake training.
Mr Burgess said the Western Port Warriors Football Team was a real means of change for hundreds of disadvantaged people in the Hastings area.
“The Western Port Warriors Football Team, led by former policer officer, Andy Brady was the only means for hundreds of disadvantaged young people and their families living in the Hastings and Somerville areas to connect to the wider community and break the cycle of loss of confidence, low self-esteem, unemployment, isolation and boredom," Mr Burgess said.
"Therefore I am very pleased to support the team’s re-establishment and re-joining the annual Reclink Football fixture.
“We are seeking community assistance to support the work of Reclink Australia an organisation solely concerned with improving opportunities for people with mental health, disability and other social disadvantage by assisting them to regain their functional independence through sport recreation and arts program opportunities."
The Team played in the annual Reclink Football fixture and the annual competition became a lifeblood for those who came to see the team as an extension of their family. The loss of the Western Port Warriors Football Team was a devastating blow to the local community.
Reclink Australia in partnership with Neale Burgess is calling on businesses to get behind the reinstatement of the Western Warriors Football team to raise $15,000 in the first year.
Mr Ballis said the establishment the Western Port Warriors Football Team is a win-win both for the players in the team and their communities
“Neale Burgess has firsthand knowledge of the Reclink Australia program and is totally supportive of helping raise the funds this organisation to establish the Westernport Warriors Football Team," Mr Ballis said.
“Reclink Australia has an impressive track record at achieving fantastic outcomes for people in our community who are enduring social disadvantage and more widely the communities that need to be engaged in developing supports for these citizens."
Reclink Australia is a national community based not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with over 70 community based organisations throughout Victoria to deliver cost effective targeted services to improve the lives of people experiencing disadvantage, including homelessness, mental health, alcohol and drug addiction, justice and indigenous issues. Reclink’s performance [year on year] against the funding received from government has been exemplary.