Launching in 2023, the Intercept Program is a joint initiative between the Purple Hands Foundation, Fremantle Dockers, Cockburn Police and the City of Cockburn.
The eight-week AFL program aims to not only develop football skills but more importantly aims to increase skills in personal development, self-confidence and relationship building.
Participants are referred to the Intercept program by local partners and are encouraged to build positive relationships with the local police that join in the sessions through gameplay and football drills.
Once the weekly 'on-field' sessions have finished, all participants including the local police and coaches are encouraged to eat and chat with each other over dinner to help build on and embed these positive relationships developed on the field.
The program has been supported by Fremantle Dockers players Michael Walters and Jordan Clark, as well as several Fremantle Dockers AFL Women’s team, including Captain Hayley Miller, who have all given their time and dedication to the program in recent weeks.
Purple Hands Foundation Operations manager Emma Pass spoke about the important impact the Intercept program has already had in its first term.
“To see the confidence, self-belief and positive relationships grow over the past eight weeks of the program was incredible and that is highlighted by several of the participants becoming leaders within the group,” Pass said.
“Adding the elements of something as simple as eating dinner together allowed time for the participants to build positive relationships with the police, when previously their only interaction may have been through a negative experience or exchange.
“By the final week, the participants had become a team and were showing a sense of belonging by wearing their Intercept kit and even referring to the meeting room as the Intercept room.”
In addition to the benefits the Intercept program has provided for the local youth, it has also given a unique opportunity to past SEDA Sport, Business and Leadership students, Jye Connachan and Jordan Handcock.
Jye and Jordan have both had the opportunity to be a leading coach of the program and experience first-hand the positive outcomes for all parties involved.
“The participants have really grown over the last few weeks and have started viewing themselves collectively as a team,” Connachan said.
“As the age group is spread over multiple years, it has been great to see some of the older participants leading by example and becoming role models for the younger participants.”
The Purple Hands Foundation is currently still seeking funding to ensure the sustainability of the Intercept program, with hopes that the program can continue in 2023 with the support of the Fremantle Dockers, Cockburn Police and the City of Cockburn.