THE Port Adelaide Football Club is grateful that Santos has agreed to extend its support for the Santos Aboriginal Power Cup for another three years.

Over its 14-year history, Port Adelaide’s flagship Aboriginal community program for secondary students has been directly linked to more Indigenous students both attending and completing school, with 96% of the 4310 participants completing their South Australian Certificate of Education.

This is a key target of the nation’s Closing the Gap plan.

With a competitive football carnival as its centrepiece, the Santos Aboriginal Power Cup focuses on engaging young people in Aboriginal culture, education, healthy lifestyle choices, teamwork, leadership and life skills.

Santos first supported the program in 2009 and has been instrumental in enabling its growth from 133 students from six schools in 2008 to more than 500 from 65 schools this year.

“Santos has been the ideal partner for the Santos Aboriginal Power Cup given its commitment to building a better future for the community, in particular for Indigenous Australians,” said Port Adelaide Chief Executive Matthew Richardson.

“Its support of the program goes far beyond the financial. Seeing Santos staff volunteering to be goal umpires at the annual football carnival or participate in the interactive careers expo is a testament to the organisation’s values and dedication to improving the lives and prosperity of our first nations people.

“The Santos Aboriginal Power Cup sees tangible educational outcomes for young Indigenous people and these results simply would not be possible without Santos’ support.”

The Santos Aboriginal Power Cup culminates in the annual Aboriginal Power Cup Carnival, a three-day event focused on cultural activities, health, career and tertiary pathways, and some friendly competition between schools.

To be eligible to participate, students must have completed assessment tasks and met behavioural and attendance standards.

The best performed teams played off in the Grand Final on Sunday as a curtain raiser before Port Adelaide’s Sir Doug Nicholls round game against Fremantle.

All participants also took part in a cultural performance and an awards ceremony at Adelaide Oval, where Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher announced the partnership extension.

“At Santos, we are proud to be a part of this wonderful initiative that is changing young Indigenous people’s lives and driving real social improvements,” Mr Gallagher said.

“The Santos Aboriginal Power Cup is about providing more opportunities and more incentives to young people to complete school.

“We have a special relationship with Port Adelaide and the Santos Aboriginal Power Cup. I’m proud we will continue to support this program that has impacted so many young people’s lives for another three years.”