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Power expands commitment to Aboriginal communities with Soles4Souls partnership.

November 21, 2013 11:23 AM

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Power Community Ltd joins with Anglicare SA and Soles4Souls to launch its donation campaign.

THIS WEEK, the Port Adelaide Football Club and its community arm, Power Community Ltd, will announce a partnership that will ensure hundreds of Aboriginal children will receive a pair of footy boots or running shoes when they join the Power at clinics in remote communities.

While it is estimated that 300 million children and 1.5 billion people worldwide do not have adequate footwear, in Australia the need for shoes is often not obvious in the community. However, a pair of shoes enhances opportunities in sport, education and employment.

Having already changed the lives of more than 72,000 children and adults in Tanzania and Australia, Soles4Souls Australia has joined with the Power and Anglicare South Australia to support hundreds more Australian Aboriginal people this year.

Power Community Ltd's Aboriginal programs manager Paul Vandenbergh said the Australian Aboriginal communities contributed much to the sport and the partnership with Soles4Souls Australia and Anglicare SA will ensure more young players are provided with the crucial tools to reach their potential.

“Creating opportunities and pathways is the initial stage and providing the kids with shoes gives them an opportunity to increase their skill level and opportunities," he said.

“The Aboriginal community represents 2.5 per cent of the population but in the AFL nine per cent of the players’ lists are Aboriginal, however, we believe through the right level of support this can increase.

“For more Aboriginal players to reach their highest level and potentially play AFL we need to provide them with the tools, and this includes footy boots."

Mr Vandenbergh recently travelled to Oak Valley with AFL legends Gavin Wanganeen and Byron Pickett to deliver their programs and shoes. The trips to Oak Valley, Koonibba, Yalata and other remote communities of Australia are part of a partnership that Power Community Ltd has with the AFL.

Soles4Souls Australia Chief Executive Dalice Kennedy said she is looking forward to the partnership with the Power and the impact it will have on the wider community and for program participants.

“Shoes are critical in development and opportunities,” Ms Kennedy said.

“In addition to creating opportunities in education, employment and sport shoes also help to prevent debilitating parasite infections and cuts and scratches which lead to tetanus and other infections that are painful and potentially deadly.

Anglicare SA CEO the Reverend Peter Sandeman says Anglicare SA, South Australia’s largest provider of social services, is proud to lend support.

“AnglicareSA is already committed to working with the Aboriginal community through our programs, employment and supporting diversity, but we’re striving to go extra mile for young people in remote communities and we encourage others to donate new shoes,” he said.

“If you can afford to donate top-of-the-range sneakers or boots then that’s fantastic but if all you can afford is a pair on sale for $20 or $30 that’s great. That’s a small price to pay for many people but it will make a big difference for growing feet.

“We’re glad to be able to work together with the Power and Soles4Souls to support Aboriginal youths in remote locations. Who knows where these shoes will lead – to a lifetime of fun and friendship in a sporting team or even to kicking goals at Adelaide Oval.”

Dalice Kennedy said the enthusiasm and commitment of the Power together with Anglicare SA and the wider Australian community in providing shoes to Soles4Souls Australia programs will heavily contribute to the success of the appeal.

Soles4Souls Australia was established in South Australia 18 months ago:
· It has donated more than 72,000 pairs of shoes globally to people in need.
· In 2013 the goal is to collect more than 100,000 pairs of shoes from across Australia.
· Shoes have the ability to change people’s prospects, improving health and allowing for schooling, sport and employment opportunities that would otherwise not be possible.

Dalice said that while shoes have priceless benefits they remain out of reach for so many. “If we can change the lives of 100,000 people this year we are off to a great start.

“Together with each pair of shoes we ask for a gold coin donation to help sponsor their transport and distribution,” she said.

For more information on the difference you can make in the lives of those with limited opportunities contact Dalice Kennedy 0451 596 386 or Paul Vandenbergh on 0427 178 833.