At the 2017 WAFL Grand Final on Sunday 24 September Community TAB awarded South Fremantle Football Club (SFFC) and East Fremantle Football Club (EFFC) the ‘Hero Club’ title for the work they have been doing in their communities off the footy field.
Community TAB gave $2500 to SFFC and $2500 to the Stephen Michael Foundation which SFFC created, and $1000 to EFFC and $1000 to The Kai Eardley Fund which EFFC created.
In March 2017, SFFC launched the Stephen Michael Foundation with the intention of working within the communities of their recruiting zone initially, and then beyond once established. The Foundation aims to be leaders in community development through assisting youth to achieve their goals and become valued members of the community.
Two partnerships were quickly formed, one in Meekatharra which received the support of all agencies such as local Police, mental health, Westgold Mining, Department of Housing, Karalundi Community School, local Shire and many more. Meekatharra High School attendance rate sits at 50% so SFFC is working with the youth to give them the confidence and capability to attend school and feel comfortable doing so through various avenues.
The second partnership is with Fremantle College which opens in 2018 and is pitching itself as a Specialist Football School. SFFC is providing a program to the school for male and female students to spend 2 x 1 hour periods per week on football and 1 x 1 hour per week on development such as leadership and decision making under pressure.
In 2016 the East Fremantle Football Club (EFFC) community was rocked with the news that one of their own had taken his life, 20 year old Kai Eardley. The Kai Eardley Fund (KEF) was established to create positive change for the mental health of youth, and in order to do this KEF partnered with Tomorrow Man to support the delivery of their program Man Up. In August a group of 47 EFFC players took part in the workshop focused on breaking the “man code”, the first of its kind to be rolled out in a WAFL club. The workshop aims to reinvent masculinity by disrupting stereotypes in an understanding and welcoming forum.
KEF has an aim to expand into school to deliver the Man Up program and as the foundation grows KEF also intends to expand their work to provide for women also.
Community TAB has been giving back to the WA community for years through various industries including sport and recreation and supports not-for-profit organisations in regional and metropolitan. Community TAB supports many organisations in mental health, disability and indigenous sectors and is proud to further our support through the ‘Hero Club’ contributions to the clubs and organisations involved. Community TAB feels many WAFL clubs who were nominated were worthy of being recognised however felt SFFC and EFFC had gone above and beyond to implement programs that are combatting critical issues in the WA community and creating programs that allow for growth and replication.
More information on the Stephen Michael Foundation
More information on The Kai Eardley Fund