Thursday, May 30, 2024

Prison inmate soccer program kicking goals for a brighter future

Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC) has partnered with Corrections Victoria to deliver a soccer coaching program that is aiming to give prison inmates new skills to break the cycle of reoffending.

Victorian Minister for Corrections, Enver Erdogan, this week joined MCFC to congratulate the graduates from the second round of the Twinning Project at the Metropolitan Remand Centre (MRC).

“The Melbourne City Football Club Coaching Program offers people in prison a crucial opportunity to develop important skills that they can use in the real world,” said Minister Erdogan.

“Engaging in teamwork and leadership exercises means people can leave prison with skills that boost their job prospects, enrich their lives, and help reduce their risk of returning to prison.”

The Twinning Project is an eight-week soccer coaching program being delivered to 16 participants at MRC by the charitable arm of the MCFC – City of Community.

Backed by a $30,000 investment – the pilot program delivers interactive training that focuses on teamwork, leadership, respectful relationships and engagement to increase employment opportunities and reduce reoffending upon release.

The program is delivered by coaching staff, mentors and various guest speakers who come from a range of cultural and professional backgrounds, each bringing different lived experiences to their coaching and sessions, the Minister said.

The Victorian recidivism rate of former prisoners returning to prison under sentence within two years has remained lower than the national rate for the last five years, he said.

MCFC is owned by Manchester City Football Club, which founded the Twinning Project in the United Kingdom (UK). The Twinning Project is now delivered in over 70 prisons in the UK, the United States of America, Africa and now Australia.

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