Scoring a clean bill of health

White Star Dandenong's Under-7's team.

Greater Dandenong clubs and groups have scored funding to help ‘jump start’ young people into post-lockdown activity.

Afri-Aus Care, White Star Dandenong Soccer Club, Lyndale United FC and the City of Greater Dandenong will stage cooking, gardening, sport and arts projects as part of the VicHealth JumpStart program.

The common aim is to connect youth in healthy, inclusive activity.

White Star received $10,000 to accelerate its junior soccer program, which was focused on affordability and inclusivity for its diverse local communitie.

“Our club is focused around the growth and participation of our mini-roos and junior teams,” club spokesperson Radek Wrzesinski said.

“Our community soccer club is about giving families the opportunity for their kids and teens to keep active, engage with other children, give them the opportunity to develop their passion and skills for soccer.

“We also find children benefit by learning about diversity and multiculturalism Dandenong has to offer.

“With over 156 nationalities represented within the area, our club provides a ‘community’ where players and families can integrate and learn about each other’s culture.”

City of Greater Dandenong received $13,153 to develop a free children’s activity kit Art Decks at the soon-to-open Dandenong New Art gallery and throughout the council area.

Afri-Aus Care based in Springvale South received $50,000 to teach traditional African cooking and gardening techniques to children from CALD communities.

It will be designed to connect children to their African cultural heritage.

Lyndale United $5200 for a summer five-a-side soccer tournament for young adults.

In total, 123 organisations across the state shared $3.75 million in JumpStart round funding.

It is part of the $45 million Future Healthy program targeting young people’s physical and mental wellbeing in the wake of Covid lockdowns.

Sarah Loh, who is VicHealth’s executive manager of Future Healthy, said JumpStart aimed to empower community groups to “create a healthier future”.

“There’s something here for everyone. The programs may be different, but they all share the same goal. It’s all about supporting young people to reach their full health potential.”

Ms Loh said research found 90 per cent of young people agreed physical activity was good for mental wellbeing.

A strong majority also reported feeling happy in doing creative work with others, such as music, drawing and singing.

Applications for the second funding round for JumpStart opens 24 August. Details: