May 2019

Street Football

What we did

We launched a flexible football program for young people from low socioeconomic and culturally and linguistically diverse communities in metropolitan and regional areas.

The program is based on a ‘pop-up’ format with teams comprising just three players. Attendance is free to all participants and sessions allow social interaction in a safe, supervised environment. The program also promotes healthy lifestyle behaviours through the ‘Smarter than Smoking’ branding and messaging.

By June 2018, more than 200 young people had taken part in the Street Football program. We attribute the program’s success to comprehensive and collaborative planning with diverse stakeholders.

We initially worked with the West Australian police’s community engagement division and used our already-successful inclusive programs as a foundation for early discussions.

We then worked with a number of community groups to develop program pilots, including:

  • the Shire of Katanning
  • Town of Victoria Park
  • City of Joondalup, Vincent, Perth, Wanneroo, Armadale, Swan, Fremantle, Gosnells and Canning.
  • Save the Children
  • Red Cross
  • Mission Australia
  • Organisation of African Communities WA.

Planning is already underway to extend the program to other regions.


Why we did it

Our vision for 2018–22 is to make football more accessible and a great experience for all. Part of this vision is to ensure that diversity is encouraged and celebrated within the Football West community.

Although we have previously run programs for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, stakeholder feedback indicated that there was a lack of opportunities for low-income youth from these communities. Additionally, research conducted as part of the scoping process for our strategic plan identified expanding small-sided programs to be a key strategy for engaging young people.

How we know it worked

Our program target was to attract more than 300 participants across five sites and achieve more than 90% satisfaction in surveys.

The trial program at Katanning attracted more than 200 participants.

Beyond June 2018 (and at the time of writing) more than 700 participants have taken part in the program.

Throughout the program roll out, we surveyed participants to assess their satisfaction, likely retention, and recognition of key health messages. We recorded the following results:

  • The majority (80%) rated the sessions as ‘brilliant’. The remaining 20% rated the sessions as ‘good’.
  • Every surveyed participant indicated that they would return to the program (100%).
  • More than 70% of surveyed participants identified ways of discouraging friends from engaging in unhealthy behaviours.

We plan to conduct focus group evaluations and debrief stakeholders later in the year to determine the longer-term impacts of the program on participants, their families and stakeholders.