The Latrobe Health Assembly and GippSport have today (Friday 13 December) relaunched the innovative Streetgames program, with the Assembly supporting further funding to continue delivery of social and alternative sports and recreation opportunities for teens and young adults in the Latrobe Valley.

The Latrobe Streetgames program was developed by GippSport in collaboration with the Latrobe Health Assembly and a range of community stakeholders, working together in the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone. The program provides social sport and active recreation opportunities with the aim of increasing the physical activity levels and social connectedness of young people in Latrobe City.

The program proved to be highly successful during its first year and will continue providing a physical activity outlet for youth following the re-funding of the program from the Latrobe Health Assembly.

Latrobe Health Assembly Executive Officer Ian Needham said: “A program such as Latrobe Streetgames is the kind of innovative approach to community support that the Latrobe Health Assembly was created to help develop, by working together with other entities in the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone.

“The first year of the Streetgames program has shown that giving young people the opportunity to be a part of an active program, will have lasting impacts not only on physical health but also mental health through social connections with their peers.”

Latrobe Streetgames utilises doorstep sport methodology which seeks to remove as many barriers as possible that stop young people participating in sport and active recreation. The Latrobe Streetgames program is successful when delivered at the right time, in the right place, in the right style and at the right price.  The intent is to complement other sport and recreation programs currently on offer across the Latrobe Valley with a focus on young people not currently involved in any form of sport or active recreation.

During its trial phase, Latrobe Streetgames delivered over 485 events in communities throughout Latrobe City, given development opportunities to over 30 youth, employed 17 youth ‘crew’ to facilitate the events, and has welcomed an attendance of more than 10,000 people into the program through a wide range of sports, from street soccer and basketball through to table tennis and skateboard/scooter sessions.

GippSport’s Executive Officer, Dan Poynton says of the program: “We are pleased that the Latrobe Streetgames program is able to help young people become more active and socially connected.  This is one of a number of programs we’re working on in partnership with the Latrobe Health Assembly, Latrobe Valley Authority, DHHS and Sport & Recreation Victoria in the municipality.  To be able to provide multiple options for young people to participate is fantastic, whether in traditional sport or community programs like Streetgames, it means there is something for everyone. The crew who have helped guide the design of the program have been instrumental to its success, we look forward to continuing working with them.”

Latrobe Streetgames is a prime example of how local organisations can work together to provide innovative approaches to issues facing our community.