Kicking a footy offers new life on the Border

Peter Cullen from Reclink

Peter Cullen from Reclink

A FOOTBALL team could be the answer to getting homeless people, drug and alcohol abusers and those with mental health issues back on track.

Reclink Australia has a vision of expanding to the Border after the organisation first created a league for disadvantaged people in Melbourne in 1990.

Founder and director Peter Cullen addressed a luncheon at the Wodonga Football and Netball Club on Saturday and said the new football league would give opportunities to those who were vulnerable and isolated.

“We want to put it out there that we want a league in this region,” Mr Cullen said.

“There are some people in communities like Wodonga who are finding themselves in a hard place.”

Mr Cullen said the football league would give disadvantaged people, who weren’t confident attending established sporting clubs, a positive focus in their lives.

“It would help people develop a sense of belonging,” he said.

“There has also been a rise in drug use in this area and I have a feeling the time is right to create a league here.”

Mr Cullen said ideally he would like to launch the league by next season but was calling for Border agencies to express interest in involving their clients.

“Reclink is what is missing from welfare provisions,” he said.

“This is about giving the opportunity to people to help them see they have a purpose.”

There is currently one league with 14 teams in Victoria and Mr Cullen said it had saved lives.

“These sporting opportunities are really powerful and give people social engagement.”

Mr Cullen said the league on the Border could be launched with four teams.

“I have a strong vision and desire to see it through,” he said.

Any agencies or businesses wanting to sponsor or be involved in a new league on the Border should phone Mr Cullen on 0421 442 340 or email peter.cullen@reclink.org.au.

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