ABOVE: Ball for fun and fun for all! Have you thought about the benefits of playing team sport?
By Kirby Lunn
Sport brings great benefits – not just because of the physical activity, but also because of its well-known positive effects on our social and emotional well-being.
Flourish Australia’s Newcastle (NSW) service has a small team of passionate mental health workers who make up the YCLSS (Youth Community Living Support Service) program. We are here to support 16-24 year old individuals to promote a smooth and supported transition into all aspects of community living.
YCLSS provides support with many avenues of community living, including linking young people with services related to housing, volunteering, mental health support, financial support and supporting individuals to engage in community and social inclusion where they may feel a sense of belonging, inclusiveness, commitment and more.
We have found one thing in common with many of the young people who we support, and that is how much they thoroughly enjoy a program called Street Soccer.
Street Soccer is an initiative of The Big Issue that promotes social inclusion by giving the participants an opportunity to get together once a week in a safe, fun, judgement-free environment. This allows them to get fit, make friends and seek support and advice. Street Soccer coordinators work closely with the players, linking them to services that address issues such as homelessness, substance abuse, mental health issues and isolation.
Street Soccer is an all-inclusive initiative that welcomes and encourages people of all abilities, cultural backgrounds and ages. The YCLSS staff attend Street Soccer each week and participate in the games, encouraging and promoting great teamwork and inclusiveness throughout the duration of the afternoon.
Street Soccer is run at the PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club) in Newcastle every Thursday from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
We asked one of the young people from YCLSS whether they looked forward to Street Soccer and why:
“I look forward to catching up with others and getting exercise. Street soccer is a place for me to be me.”
How does participating in Street Soccer make you feel?
“Street Soccer has made me feel connected to others. Street Soccer provides social connections and it makes me happy to reengage in a loved sport.”
Where can I play Street Soccer?
Street Soccer currently runs at…
Sydney and Parramatta NSW
And North Melbourne Vic
The Melbourne women’s group is at
You can find out more information about participating in Street Soccer on the website at: