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    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Qld Government fires up basketball competition for girls in care

    Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017

    Qld Government fires up basketball competition for girls in care

    Young women and girls in care in Townsville will have the opportunity to be mentored by local sporting stars and develop their basketball skills, thanks to a renewed partnership between the Queensland Government and JCU Townsville Fire.

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to commit a further $50,000 to the JCU Townville Fire’s youth engagement program.

    “This program is about encouraging young women and girls to participate in sport and reach their full potential, which is a good thing for the entire community,” she said.

    “It focuses support towards young women aged 10-18 years who are in out of home care.  

     “The program provides an avenue to develop social, education and employment opportunities, with access to positive role models for participants while getting active and healthy in their community.

    “We know too many at risk young people in Townsville are turning to a life of crime, and this is another important initiative to provide an alternative path for young women in care.”

    Fire Captain and triple Olympic medallist Suzy Batkovic said the JCU Townsville Fire was delighted to continue their Youth Engagement Program.

    “I’ve seen first-hand what a positive impact the program has had on its participants and while the practical workshops provide necessary life skills, it is about much more than that.

    “It’s about showing the participants that people care – that we care – and that we want their lives to be richer and fuller and with a little help they can achieve whatever they set out to do.

    “We’re proud of the championship banners hanging from our rafters, but we’re just as proud of the work that we do in the community – our community – and we take our responsibility to being positive, healthy, female role models extremely seriously.”

    Minister for Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman said last financial year, 27 young women and girls completed the program which was delivered in three-day blocks during school holidays throughout the year.

    “This extra funding will help encourage and retain local participants, as well as increase completion rates,” Ms Fentiman said.   

    “I’m delighted we can continue this important program for another year, as it has made a real difference to the lives of the young women and girls who have already completed.”

    Member for Townsville Scott Stewart commended the Fire for giving back to the local community.

    “It is great to be able to support the JCU Townsville Fire, who are providing access to such inspiring and positive role models to some of the more vulnerable young members of our community,” Mr Stewart said.

    Media Contact:                                  Minister O’Rourke’s office                  3719 7170