Troubled CQ youths provided new, life-changing outlets
DISADVANTAGED youths across Rockhampton are now enjoying the benefits of countless sporting opportunities once not made available to them.
The development comes by way of a state-led initiative in which Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke pledged $100,000 to the region’s clubs and organisations.
Thirteen clubs across the region – some Indigenous specific – have since been able to better improve services, equipment and capacity in a bid to host more disadvantaged youths.
However, the do-good initiative not only provided a new experience for youngsters but also the logistical distribution of funding – with The Rotary Club of Rockhampton tasked the duty.
Mr O’Rourke said the club’s involvement instead allowed for the community to receive 100 per cent of the funds.
“It is so important, and I think it’s a great model to work towards into the future, and something that I’ll be continuing to try support,” he said.
Among the initiatives funded were a homeless youth engagement program, a school-based mentoring program for at-risk teens and a rugby league carnival for indigenous youth.
Manager of Rockhampton PCYC Sergeant Greg Jones – who too received funds – admitted the program had improved the lives of many disadvantaged children.
“We received two strings of funding through this particular program, we got a fantastic purpose-built mountain bike trail fitted out with top of the line mountain bikes,” he explained.
Additional funding for PCYC’s self-development program – which involves boxing and other fitness-based activities – also proved beneficial to troubled youths.
Sgt Jones also noted a number of noticed behavioural improvements had come as a result of the two programs.
“It opens up horizons for [the kids] and even increases their fitness. It’s been really good.”
“[There has been] changes in the way they carry themselves, they’re more confident, they’ll speak up and actually have a conversation,” he explained.
Rockhampton’s Archery Club was also on the receiving end of a dual funding boost – with a specific focus on permanently extending its services to disabled youths.
Club president John Hans said the funding allowed for the club to increase its equipment capacity, subsequently permitting further on boarding of more disability groups.
“It gives them an opportunity to be outdoors and to play a sport which normally might not be considered.”
He added similar programs were being implemented in archery clubs from Mackay to Bundaberg.