Night Ball in need of more helpers
A Saturday night program using sport to keep at-risk youth off the streets was kept alive by local police last week, but organisers are pleading for community help to continue in the new year.
Broome PCYC launched its Night Ball initiative earlier this year, using team basketball games to attract children each week and deter them from crime. Participation in workshops covering physical and mental wellbeing and violence prevention was made a condition of play for kids, who were also fed nutritious meals each evening.
The program quickly grew in popularity, with more than 120 turning up to participate weekly until dwindling volunteer numbers led to Broome PCYC canning the last event on December 1.
But after Kimberley District Superintendent Allan Adams put a call-out for helpers, 10 off-duty police were among the 15 who threw their hands up in support and the night was able to go ahead.
Broome PCYC manager Annie Dann said she was relieved to hold the final meet because of the benefits for indigenous youth.
“We lost a lot of volunteers towards the end of the year because they understandably became very exhausted managing that huge number of children,” she said. “It was really disappointing when we thought we would have to cancel it earlier this month, but it was becoming too unsafe for our staff.”
But Ms Dann said more would be needed to relaunch the initiative next year.
“Right now we are hoping to have it up and running again by the first Saturday in February, but we need consistent community support,” she said.
“You always hear all the negatives with our indigenous youth, but volunteering would help people to see a different side of them and see their life on a different level.”
Those wanting to help can contact Broome PCYC on 9192 1655.
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