Friday Night Lights program positive attraction for youth

THE philosophy is simple – build it and they will come.

And come they did –  more than 250 of them – to the opening event of a unique program aimed at engaging young people and reducing crime.

The first in a series of Friday Night Lights events held at Scully Park Pool last Friday, which featured a twilight pool party and barbecue, has been hailed a smashing success.

With music pumping around the venue, participants dove into a range of activities, including a 15-metre long slip and slide, Scully Pool’s famous giant waterslide and swimming competitions with special guest, Paralympic gold medallist Ben Austin.

“It’s amazing to see a town come together like this supporting young people,” Mr Austin said. 

The pool party was hosted by the Gomeroi Dance Company and funded by the Office of Attorney-General as part of the Friday Night Light’s crime prevention program, delivered through Joblink Plus.

Joblink Plus community partnerships officer Marg Hombsch said the event illustrated the importance of engaging at-risk youth on their level.

“The community has a lot of fear around crime issues but this again shows that young people in a supported environment can have fun and not get into trouble,” Mrs Hombsch said.

Program co-ordinator Amy Hammond thanked councillors Russell Webb and Phil Betts for attending the event and praised the volunteers and other supporting businesses of Friday Night Lights.

In the pool, Leroy O’Leary took out the final race, winning Mr Austin’s signed Olympic shorts, and Chantelle Lee came in second, claiming a signed Olympic cap.

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