Hawks Partnership To Inspire Youth


Hawthorn Football Club has extended its commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of young people, announcing a new partnership with Kokoda Youth Foundation.

The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP) is a life skills program for teenagers from a cross section of the community who live, work or play in the City of Kingston. The program targets young people who are seeking purpose and direction and ready to make a commitment to personal growth and community contribution.

The program involves a regular weekly commitment to physical training and mentoring over an extended duration in preparation for team challenges, leading up to the peak experience of trekking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.

The groups then return home for a period of community service to experience the value of ‘giving back’.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the Kokoda Youth Foundation partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the club to reinforce its commitment to developing young people.

“The Kokoda trek has become ingrained in the Hawthorn culture since 2004, with the experience having become an integral element in the induction of our new players”.

“It is fantastic to see KYF and Hawthorn FC collaborate on the development of our future leaders with the support of the City of Kingston”

“Hawthorn has a strong platform to inspire and influence young people with over half of the senior playing group under the age of 25 and over a quarter of the membership base under the age of 29.”

Kokoda Youth Foundation CEO Matt Helmers said the partnership provided genuine alignment of core values.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with an iconic brand who understand the significance of the timeless Kokoda Spirit and its transformative qualities to inspire the ordinary to rise to realise the extraordinary,” Helmers said.

“KYF has a proud history of delivering youth programs which challenge perceived limitations, develop self-confidence and improve social integration.”

“It is no surprise Hawthorn is well-renowned for its commitment to continual growth and sustaining high-performing teams that consistently rise to the challenge.”

“The additional benefit of access to HFC elite training facilities and lecture theatre space will help prepare this young group physically and mentally for their enormous challenge.”

“KYF has a proud history of delivering youth programs which challenge perceived limitations, develop self-confidence and improve social integration.” said Helmers.

Participants have now been selected and the program formally commenced at the end of July.

Players, coaches and fitness staff who have hiked the Kokoda Track will play a role in mentoring each of the participants.

Following the 5 months of physical training including the Melbourne Kokoda Challenge in October, participants will begin their climb of the Kokoda Track in November.

The Melbourne Kokoda Challenge will be held on 5-6th of October at the 1000 steps Kokoda Track Memorial in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

The Kokoda Youth Challenge program has been made possible thanks to the generous support of The Phillips Foundation and The Navarra Care Foundation. The club would like to thank both organisations for their support

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