The Western Bulldogs’ GOAL Mentoring Program will return in 2020, after a successful pilot was completed last year.
GOAL, a by-product of the Club’s African Action Plan which was developed in 2018, was delivered last year over 12 weeks, with African youth aged between 13-15 paired with a Western Bulldogs player and a community mentor.
The program aimed to increase engagement and provide information for participants about employment, training pathways and personal skills, through the use of mentoring, workshops and a goal-setting agenda.
In an evaluation of the program, 30 participants spoke about how the GOAL program enabled them to build a sense of belonging, that the program had strengthened their sense of community and identity, and helped build relationships and friendships.
“The idea of community means like…coming…all the people coming together, as…doesn’t matter what colour you are, doesn’t matter what person you are, just coming together,” said one participant.
Mentoring forms a major part of the program. In 2019, mentors came in the form of Western Bulldogs male and female players, as well as members of the community.
Mentors were proud of ‘giving back’, and spoke of the rewards and benefits of being involved in the program, and how it helped build our local community.
This year, the GOAL Mentoring Program will be delivered online due to the coronavirus pandemic, with weekly sessions which will focus on developing leadership skills and celebrating diversity.
Crucially, it will help participants and mentors build networks and stay connected.
The program starts on Thursday September 3, and will run weekly on the Zoom video platform from 4.30pm to 6pm.
Here’s how to register to get involved: