By Bethany Alvaro
Sydney FC and Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) have entered an exciting new partnership, aiming to provide students with exclusive opportunities to foster their skills and learn from the best of the best in Australian football.
Launching last Monday at Sky Park, the partnership aims to provide SCS students with the opportunity to participate in a range of football programs and initiatives, from gala days and holiday camps to before and after school activities.
The collaboration will see students develop a variety of skills through football-related educational programs providing new insights and perspectives in the game.
Sydney FC Chief Executive Officer, Mark Aubrey, said the partnership will “provide unique opportunities to over 100 primary and secondary schools in Sydney.”
“Sydney FC is committed to developing young footballers and young people in general” he said.
“An important moment for students is that they have the opportunity to play with and learn from the very best footballers and coaches in this country,” said SCS Executive Director, Tony Farley.
As a part of the collaboration, an allocated Sydney FC/SCS game development officer role was introduced to encourage students to get involved with the program and promote football within the SCS community.
Alumnus of Trinity College Auburn, Jamie Dib, has been assigned the role.
“The goal is to create opportunities for students in the SCS system. Expose them to different experiences that Sydney FC can offer, whether it’s training programs or tournaments … I’m super passionate about providing these opportunities,” he said.
Mr Dib further expands on the importance of this partnership for the mental and physical health of students.
He notes the importance of providing a “holistic approach to give the student opportunities to play football with their friends”.
The University of Queensland recently conducted a study that concluded that sport is pivotal for young people, as it develops physical health but also provides opportunities for teamwork and socialising, leading to positive mental health outcomes.
He added, “If these students become massive Sydney FC fans, fantastic, if some of them play for Sydney FC, even better.”
The excitement for the partnership goes beyond the executives. It is equally shared by students.
Alexander Lo Surdo, a Year 12 student at Holy Cross College Ryde, highlighted that the program is “good for the Catholic school community as it allows for students to all come together and have a common interest.”
Natalie Russo, a Year 10 student at Marist Sisters Woolwich noted that the program provides students with the chance to showcase and improve their skills at professional standards.
“Great opportunity for young footballers to get a glimpse of what could be when they’re older,” she said.
The partnership will officially kick off in late November, with a Year 7 and 8 girls tournament.