AFL Queensland helps launch Young Emerging African Leaders Program

By Ant Wingard

Over a dozen young, African women will have the opportunity to develop their leadership and life skills through the joint Young Emerging African Leaders Program (YEAL).

AFL Queensland has partnered with the South Brisbane District Police, Yeronga State High School and Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) to conduct the six week program with school participants from Yeronga SHS.

The program is aimed to develop life skills among young African females and lessen the barriers between them and the Police and other positive role models.

YEAL participants will engage in a range of activities, including Australian Rules football programs, and learning experience designed to promote positive self-worth, personal safety, decision making and self-confidence.

The program was launched on Tuesday at Yeronga SHS with attendees from all involved parties as the first of the program.

AFL Queensland Diversity Coordinator – Talent, Peter Yagmoor, was one of the AFL Queensland representatives to attend the launch and insisted the program would help promote the sport within the local community while helping to encourage a healthy lifestyle for the participants.

“The Young Emerging African Leaders Program will enable the next generation to fast track their personal development and we look forward to being involved with the program and seeing the growth within the participants,” Yagmoor said.

“Through programs cantered around Australian Rules football, the participants are able to learn and develop in a fun and interactive way.

“We found at the launch that many of the participants have a keen interest in the sport so we cannot wait to get started.”

The YEAL program was developed after it was found that young females from African background were experiencing intergenerational conflict and were disengaging from family and school.

The participants will partake in Australian Rules football based skills sessions throughout the program which culminates in a game against QPS.

Elsewhere, weekly programs centred around themes such as respecting the law, building relationships and empowering the young African population in South Brisbane through the services provided by the South Brisbane District Police and RAILS, in conjunction with the school.

Following Tuesday’s launch, YEAL program participants will undertake their first session next Wednesday, May 8 and will run through to the graduation on June 5.

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