A new rugby league club is starting in Mount Druitt with a focus on more than just on-field results.
The Mount Druitt Lions aim to be a club with a difference, looking to help all players in the area.
It’s a new program from Rap 4 Change and chief executive Ned Narouz said it will be a club for everyone.
“At Rap 4 Change, we wanted to open another activity to reach out further to more kids,” Narouz said.
We know that a lot of kids in the area love rugby league. A lot of kids in the area play rugby league but not for Mount Druitt clubs. We want to bring them home and represent the area.”
Narouz said setting up the club in the heartland of rugby league would allow Rap 4 Change and its partners to “engage the disengaged”.
“Due to the high crime rate in the area, we thought by opening the Mount Druitt Lions and giving these kids a diversionary activity to do, it will help to reduce crime through the objectives and outcomes we have in place,” he said.
Leading into next season, the club will have teams catering for any ability, from under-6s to A-grade with both men’s and women’s teams.
There will also be a focus on helping children with schoolwork, making sure they are job ready and employed, and creating a positive environment.
“One of the objectives we have for teenage kids is to make sure they’re either in school or, if school isn’t for them, then we’re going to enroll them into a youth employment program where we get them job ready,” Narouz said.
“We’ve got a lot of businesses and organisations out there who are willing to give traineeships and apprenticeships and general labouring jobs to the kids we refer to them.”
Already the Lions have exceeded expectations of having eight teams and are looking for more sponsors and partners to help the club achieve its goals.
- Reduce crime
- Increase participation in sport
- Increase pathways to employment
- Reduce substance abuse
- Increase participation in education
- Increase positive parent participation