Progress Backs Future Leaders

By Isaac Stewart

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The next wave of bankers, doctors, politicians and players are paving the way for a promising future thanks to the Swans District Youth Leadership Program, which is proudly supported by Progress Developments. The program consists of 18 boys aged, 13 to 15, sourced from a sprinkling of junior community clubs including Chittering JFC, High Wycombe JFC, Hills Rangers JFC and Kalamunda JFC. The Swans District Youth Leadership Program is a derivative of the successful 2013 program piloted by the Swans District.

The program, which is sponsored by Progress Developments, is geared towards equipping teenage boys with the skillset to make a difference by becoming positive advocates in their local communities. The Swans District Youth Leadership Program, is composed of six sessions designed to expose the leadership potential of teenage players in the Swans District Junior Competition with a diverse selection of challenging subjects geared towards supporting participants to get the best out of themselves.

The sessions included team building, drug and alcohol awareness, mental health, decision-making, goal-setting and self-esteem, situational leadership, work readiness and public speaking. The sessions were symbolised by a host of different speakers including Adventure Team Builders Colin Rose, Mountaineer Patrick Hollingworth, Kalamunda Kickboxing's Murray McKechnie, Work Depot's Jo Watson, Leeuwin Foundation's Ashleigh Tapper and WAFC Central Metro Community Development Manager, Isaac Stewart.

The rewarding program was delivered by WAFC Central Metro Community Development Manager, Isaac Stewart and Swans District Development Assistant, Daniel Curtis and Swans District Program Coordinator, Joe Skehan. The dynamic young men were treated to inspiring stories of bravery and determination by Patrick Hollingworth with his multiple expeditions to Mount Everest. Hollingworth discussed the importance of sustainable leadership and offered the boys some sage advice about developing the mental fortitude and physical resilience needed to achieve their dreams.

McKechnie discussed the benefits of making the right decisions in social environments and educated the participants about the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. McKechnie also delivered a self-defence class aimed at teaching the boys some basic self-defence skills to safely extract themselves from volatile situations. Stewart delivered an interactive session on mental health awareness, which was the crux of the program. Stewart also discussed the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression and the pitfalls associated with social media.

Tapper and Watson delivered an insightful session on career pathways including networking and resume writing to help the boys in their decision-making process as they head towards exciting careers in their chosen professions. The Swans District is excited about the potential of the next batch of participants in the 2015 Swans District Youth Leadership Program. The Swans District recognises the expansive support of Progress Developments and junior community club presidents including Darren McKercher, Dave Farthing, Floyd Sullivan and Ian Hall for advocating for this successful program.


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