by Vincent Manno,Detective Leading Senior Constable, Victoria Police
Over 2000 primary and secondary students enjoyed the recent visit from the Onside Victoria team when Sports COPPS Gippsland Tour came to town. As Chair of OnSide Victoria, Patrizia Torelli continues to lead the charge and influence the tremendous outcomes that reflect the professionalism of all volunteers and supporters aligned with OnSide programs.
Sports COPPS visited schools in Traralgon, Morwell and Moe over three days which included appearances by Victorian Bushranger Brett Forsyth; Melbourne Vixen’s Kathleen Knott, Melbourne Heart’s Ante Tomic . Each day featured a short educational component from Victoria Police members followed by sporting clinics delivered by police members, representatives from local sporting clubs, schools, State Sporting Associations, SEDA students and the high profile athletes from Soccer, Cricket, Basketball and Netball.
The initiative is designed to promote healthy lifestyles and positive engagement between local youth, communities and Victoria Police. Community members were also able to meet with representatives from various Emergency Services Providers such as the Mobile Police Facility, Traffic Management Unit, CFA and the SES who were on hand to answer questions and talk through their vital role in the community.
The main purpose of OnSide programs is to reconnect young people to communities and provide support for those who may be marginalised, socially disadvantaged and economically challenged and to prevent at-risk behaviour.
On this occasion OnSide also collaborated with the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court to introduce the pilot of the ‘Life Skills through Sport Mentoring Program’ which we hope to see develop into an ongoing program. We very much look forward to return visits to the region in 2011 and 2012 and many more successful outcomes for all those involved.
For further information about OnSide Victoria visit www.onsidevictoria.org.au or telephone 03 9705 0666.