At-risk youth find mentors in Newcastle Knights players

Back

We've partnered with the Newcastle Knights and Juvenile Justice NSW to deliver the "Kick Off" program in support of Hunter youth.          

The program pairs young persons at risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system with Knights players thanks to our partnership with the nib Newcastle Knights and Juvenile Justice NSW.

The program, which kicked off in February 2019, involves Newcastle Knights players, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Gavet, Connor Watson and Daniel Saifiti as mentors who have paired with four young persons to provide support and guidance to help reduce offending behaviour and promote pro-social attitudes.

The idea was hatched at a meeting last year between nib Managing Director, Mark Fitzgibbon, Broadmeadow Children's Court Magistrate, Nell Skinner and the Knights Wellbeing & Education Officer, Dean Noonan who identified the need for greater remedial involvement for youth at risk of reoffending.

"It all started when the local Children's Court Magistrate raised the idea of connecting young repeat offenders with professional sporting players, whose opinions they're more likely to listen to. Given our association with the Knights as their principal partner the opportunity was quite obvious," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"The idea is that this kind of intervention might help these young persons to reach their potential through positive mentorship and ultimately, keep them out of jail," he added.  

The Kick Off program is designed for 15 - 18 year olds at risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system, who have a current supervised court order for a period of at least six months or are under the care of Allambi Youth Services.

Thanks to our $10,000 in funding support the program will allow the players to mentor the young persons for a one year period.

You can find out more about the program here.