Tackle tough youth issues

LIFE looks brighter for local teenagers thanks to Victoria Point Sharks Club which has taken private discussions outside of the locker room and into an educational setting. 

Join the support group: For more information on Outside The Locker Room visit 325 Colburn Avenue Victoria Point or telephone (07) 3207 7865.

Join the support group: For more information on Outside The Locker Room visit 325 Colburn Avenue Victoria Point or telephone (07) 3207 7865.

The club has helped keep teenagers on track by rolling out a community health program called Outside The Locker Room.

The sessions tackle tough issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, leadership, suicide, cyber bullying and mental health and equip attendees with the tools and resources to deal with them in life. 

Victoria Point Sharks JAFC junior president Justin Stone said each of the three sessions delivered thus far have attracted up to 190 participants each. 

“We've had awesome engagement from our community and it ‘s endearing to see the mix of under 14's through to seniors participating in the sessions,” he said.

“Parents and volunteers of the club immerse themselves deeply in the program.”

“It was endearing to see the mix of U14's through to Seniors participating in the sessions.

“Interaction with the kids and parents has been quite insightful and is a real highlight of the program.” 

Mr Stone said the informative group discussions open up important conversations between parents and their child.

“That's the major goal of the program to have kids talking with their parents, a teacher, their coach and any adult who cares about them if they are struggling with something in their lives,” he said.

“It is vital teenagers learn to identify when they or someone else is not okay and ways in which they can help via an adult who cares about them if they are struggling with something in their lives. 

“The importance of communication for our teenagers is vital.”

Mr Stone said there has been a high level of participation and the responses the kids come up with to the educational material is rewarding.

“Kids work in groups to answer questions posed and then a member relays the message to the rest of the crowd,” he said. 

“After they deliver their message, all crowd members applaud that child for having the courage to get up and talk about the issue being covered.” 

Mr Stone said the program has supported young men and women to become the best they can be.

“Man it's powerful stuff, every kid needs to see this,” he said. “I encourage everyone who has teenage kids to find a way to get involved in this program through their club or at their school.”

The program will be rolled-out in upcoming years and it is a fantastic community engagement initiative with families.