On Wednesday 15th November, the Collingwood Football Club hosted this year’s Life Skills Day for the Magpies Community Football Team at the AIA Vitality Centre.
The Magpies Community Football Team consists of people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who join the team for support, connection, and a sense of belonging.
The program delivers this and more with regular opportunities to improve their lives off the field through education sessions, workshops, and further support.
Facilitated in conjunction with major community sponsor Coles, the aim of Life Skills Day is to empower marginalised community members through education on practical skills that will help members lead healthy lives.
This year, the day began with a cooking class by MasterChef Michael Weldon. The team cooked a deliciously simple chicken curry together whilst learning knife skills, cooking skills and time management.
Next up was a careers session on interview skills and resume writing with Coles. With many team members either unemployed or looking for second jobs, the learnings here were invaluable.
Lastly, team members took to the field for a movement education session with their Assistant Coach and Collingwood legend, Daniel Wells.
Since its genesis, the Magpies Community Football Team program has been focused on using football as a vehicle for positive social impact in the lives of its members.
Head Coach and YSAS Team Leader, Shane Williams noted that the program has always been about more than just footy.
“This event totally embraced and empowered our players. Everyone left the AIA Centre with increased confidence and a set of new skills they can use in their daily lives. Collingwood’s efforts in organising the opportunity and the generosity of Coles was outstanding. It sets a commendable standard for other ALF clubs in supporting marginalised communities.”
Engagement in the program has never been higher with many members securing and maintaining employment or study throughout the year, crediting the program to their success.
Connecting with participants during the off-season is an important component of the program according to Head of Community at Collingwood, Liz Dunne.
“Life Skills Day is such a great way to continue the connection we have with the participants during their offseason whilst also really bringing to life the team’s motto of ‘more than footy’.
“For Collingwood, days like today are a way to incorporate our community partner Coles in a really meaningful and impactful way.”
“Community is in our DNA at Collingwood and we want to continue to make sure we create a nest for all and foster a real sense of belonging. We saw that belonging in a very human way today.”