Sun. May 26th, 2024

Police and community service providers came together in Tamworth last week to host a touch football event with local children who are, or have been, in the criminal justice system.

Oxley Police District hosted the event alongside the Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP), BackTrack and other community service providers. Kids from across the state took part in the touch football event on Thursday and Friday last week.

All the children involved were from BackTrack, Tracker Network which includes Rufftrack Hawkesbury, Making Tracks Broken Hill, Leaderlife Dubbo and PCYC Fit for Change programs and many are currently engaged or have previously been engaged in the criminal justice system.

The teams were fortunate to have a coaching clinic from the NRL during the competition while they were in Tamworth.

Acting Oxley Police District Commander, Acting Superintendent Jason Darcy said the youth engagement last week is a significant opportunity for sporting partners to assist and support the NSW Police Force with youths.

“Youth crime is a significant issue impacting our communities and the wider region and this is a great opportunity to come together with the community and form partnerships to engage with these youths,” Darcy said.

“This helps them break away from youth crime, as well as take new positive paths moving forward.”

“BackTrack can help Tamworth with programs to assist and reduce the number of youths coming into contact with police and youth justice system, providing a supportive environment to take charge and redirect their lives to a more positive pathway.”

BackTrack Executive Manager, Marcus Watson said BackTrack is inspired by the Tamworth community’s leadership for this event.

“Our aim is to help as many young people having a hard time as possible, we do this by leading a network of organisations across NSW and QLD that support young people to chase their hopes and dreams,” said Mr Watson.

“This event is the first step in working with the community and network partners to identify the possibility of establishing a model similar to BackTrack in Tamworth.”

The NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Zoe Robinson said these two days have demonstrated how young people can come together, have fun and lift each other up.

“It is a positive experience for all involved.”

Like what you’re reading? Support The New England Times by making a small donation today and help us keep delivering local news paywall-free. Donate now