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Youth program hits wellbeing goals with sporting clubs

Posted on 4th April 2024

Youth Solutions and Wests Group Macarthur team up to support young sportspeople

Following the overwhelming success of the project pilot last year, Youth Solutions and Wests Group Macarthur are continuing their partnership for the Sports AWARE program again in 2024.

The Youth Solutions health promotion program focuses on engaging with young sportspeople and their supporters to provide drug, alcohol and wellbeing education and foster positive connections to support.

The project is already underway, engaging with local sporting clubs to build skills, knowledge, and connections to prevent drug and alcohol harm and promote healthy behaviours with young sportspeople.

Sporting clubs in the Macarthur and Wingecarribee regions are now being encouraged to apply to snap up a spot for this year’s program delivery. Thanks to the partnership and support with Wests Group Macarthur, Sports AWARE is delivered free of charge to sporting groups across Macarthur and Wingecarribee.

The project focuses on the topics of drug and alcohol education, safety and well-being, help-seeking and positive role models, and is delivered via:

  • Tailored educational workshop series for young sportspeople aged 12 – 17 years
  • Information sessions for supporters (parents and carers and/or coaches/club staff)
  • Interactive outreach activities on game days or training sessions.

Youth Solutions CEO Geraldine Dean receives a cheque for $40,000 from Wests Group Macarthur Director Stephen Stewart for the Sports AWARE Project.

Caption: Wests Group Macarthur Director Stephen Stewart (right) presents a cheque to Youth Solutions CEO Geraldine Dean for the Sports AWARE project.

Youth Solutions CEO Geraldine Dean thanked Wests Group Macarthur for its ongoing support and partnership. Mrs Dean noted the club had doubled its financial commitment to Sports AWARE in 2024 to ensure the project would have a positive impact on more young people in the community.

“Youth Solutions invests so much time and passion into all of our programs and we can’t thank Wests Group Macarthur enough for sharing our passion and providing such tangible support so we can deliver positive outcomes for our young people,” Mrs Dean said.

“Wests Group Macarthur’s support helped us to develop the Sports AWARE project and we are so grateful they continue to support this project. Wests Group Macarthur share our passion for health, community and educating our young people. We know this project has such potential to have a positive impact on the pathways and lives of so many young sportspeople in our community.”

Wests Group Macarthur Chief Executive Officer Daniel Perkiss said Sports AWARE aligned with the organisation’s high regard of and concern for its local community.

“We are always looking for ways to support young people in our community, particularly around the issues of mental health, healthy lifestyles, drug harm prevention and youth sport. These are the very focus areas of the Sports AWARE program, so naturally that hit a chord with Wests Group Macarthur,” Mr Perkiss said.

“Sport is in the DNA of Wests Group Macarthur, and it is a privilege to support a project that prioritises the health and wellbeing of local sportspeople.”

“This is about the future of young sportspeople in our region – we want them to be successful in their sports, but we also want them to be happy, healthy and well-rounded young people. We encourage all local sporting groups to reach out to Youth Solutions and have this impactful program delivered to their young people.” 

Last year, the Sports AWARE project pilot garnered notable results, with youth participant evaluations showing:

  • 98% learned about the effects and risks of drugs and alcohol
  • 99% learned ways to keep themselves and others safe around drugs and alcohol
  • 100% learned about accessing help and support services

One sports administrator reported: “Awesome experience and opportunity. Great team, extremely professional. Need all community sports organisations to be exposed.” A youth participant said: “Great presenters who taught me a lot.”

For more information about the Sports AWARE program, visit the project page or contact the program team on 02 4628 2319 |

Youth Solutions Manager Emily Deans holds up a Sports AWARE drink bottle and drawstring bag outside at a Sports AWARE outreach activity.

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