On 10 February 2012, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven hosted an event to celebrate the contribution made by staff and students of the School of Exercise Science to its Future in Youth Program in East Timor.
Future in Youth is a capacity building program built upon engaging in a spirit of mutual respect and openness with the community of Baucau, 120 kilometres from the capital, Dili, in Timor Leste. The goals of the program are to improve the health, wellbeing and lifeskills of youth.
In November – December 2011, TeamACU led by Dr Paul Callery, conducted a three-week after-school sport program using Football as a means to promote messages of health, wellbeing and lifeskills. The program attracted over 800 youth and 33 coaches. This exceeded expectations and demonstrated that there is an eagerness and genuine interest in the community to participate in sport when the appropriate opportunity is provided for youth.
Over the course of the three weeks, observations of the East Timorese coaches saw increased levels of confidence to conduct training activities and, at the conclusion of the FIY program, the local football association worked with the coaches to put in place a regular training and competition plan. These are signs of them establishing a formal sporting infrastructure. The involvement of parents was a further important development.
Observations of the coaches and participants over the three-week period identified a willingness to participate under a code of behaviour that emphasised fun, fairness and respect. A simple focus on health and wellbeing also provided a key message for the youth.
The School received financial and in-kind support from three companies without whose support the program would not have been possible.
Toll purchased and transported all apparel and equipment (100 footballs, 700 T-shirts, 700 caps, four sets of goal posts, 50 clip boards, 50 whistles etc) from Sydney to Baucau, and provided a 12-seater bus for three weeks to transport Team ACU from Dili to Baucau and to transport equipment to the training venues. CEO Melbourne and Nylec Products made cash contributions to the project and assisted ACU in taking 3 staff and 6 Exercise Science students to Bacuau for three weeks.
The School of Exercise Science wishes to thank the following for their generous contribution to the Future in Youth project.
- Toll: Ray Horsburgh (Chair), David Jackson and Perry Singh, Ian Stewart and Rob Lachmund (Timor Leste)
- Catholic Education Office, Melbourne: Stephen Elder (CEO) and Vin McPhee
- Nylec Products: Norm Young
- Baucau Catholic Parish: Fr Justiniano
- St Anthony's Secondary School and Alumni Salesian Missions
- Timor Leste Football Federation: Amandio Sarmento (General Secretary)
- Baucau Football Association: Manuel Pinto (Secretary)
- Football Federation of Australia: John Boultbee and Norm Boardman
- Australian Catholic University Office of the Vice Chancellor: Professor Greg Craven
- Institute for Advancing Community Engagement: Professor Jude Butcher
- Students, Learning and Teaching: Professor Anne Cummins
- Faculty of Health Sciences: Professor Michelle Campbell
- School of Exercise Science: Associate Professor Justin Kemp