ABOUT US

The Collingwood Knights Football Club participates in the Victorian Reclink Australian Football League. Participants face varying challenges in their lives, including homelessness, mental health issues, unemployment and drug and alcohol abuse. Our vision is to create a platform for a positive future by providing a means for social connection, improved health and wellbeing and access to support services. Established in 2008 with five players, the Collingwood Knights has since provided over 200 participants with an opportunity to improve their social, physical and mental health outcomes. The club’s motto ‘more than just footy’ encapsulates the value and holistic nature of the program.

 

Our home at Victoria Park creates a hub for participants of diverse cultural backgrounds from all over Melbourne. The inclusive nature of the club caters to individuals facing barriers to participation in mainstream football clubs, including financial, behavioural or social issues. We train and play on alternating Wednesdays, with off-season activities outside of the football season. Through our partnerships with Victoria Police, Headspace Collingwood, and Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) participants are provided with support and access to services. We’re run solely through volunteers and the donations from partnerships and local businesses.

CHRIS "GEEKS" MCGEACHAN

COORDINATOR

“Geeks” is the founding father of the Knights. In his work as a Fitzroy police officer, he has seen first-hand the daily challenges that disadvantaged youth experience. He strongly believes in the value sport has in connecting people and keeping youths out of trouble, which prompted him to establish a number of sporting activities for youths of all ages in Yarra Council. He dedicates his Wednesdays to ensuring that Knights participants are well-fed, have enough gear to train and play in, and are acting in accordance with the club’s values.

christopher.mcgeachan@police.vic.gov.au

SHANE WILLIAMS

HEADCOACH & YSAS TEAM LEADER

Shane has been involved with the Knights since 2010 through his role as a Team Leader at Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS). YSAS is a not-for-profit agency that supports youth experiencing significant disadvantage to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Shane uses his experience in this capacity to guide Knights participants through challenging periods in their lives, helping them develop positive character traits such as resilience, teamwork, respect and dedication. He has worked tirelessly to help build the program from its infancy into the success it is today.

0404 120 549

MANNON JOHNSTON

ASSISTANT COACH

Mannon came on board with the Knights in 2016 through his role as an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Support Worker with Headspace. Headspace is a National Youth Mental Health Foundation which provides early intervention primary and mental health services to 12-25 year olds. Mannon has quickly developed a healthy respect among participants through his positive attitude, professionalism, love for the game and leadership on and off the field.

9417 0150

You?

MENTOR/SUPPORT PERSON

The Collingwood Knights are always on the lookout for new volunteers, mentors or support workers who are able to contribute to the positive environment of the Knights family. If this position could be filled by you, please get in touch :)

Free

PETER "BURNSEY" BURNS

MENTOR

‘Burnsey’ is a living and breathing example of how our program can facilitate life-changing opportunities and pave pathways for positive change. Homeless and in need of support, Burnsey came to the Knights in 2010 and immediately felt the connectedness within the Knights community. Aided by services provided through the Knights, Pete is now a qualified counsellor and drug and alcohol worker. He uses his experiences to mentor and help others within the club who are facing challenges in their lives. His public speaking and personal life coaching business also helps members of the community to be the best version of themselves.  

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Acknowledgement of Country

Victoria Park Oval

Abbotsford, VIC, 3067

Enter near Victoria Park Station

WHERE?

WHEN?

Every Wednesday

Breakfast: 10.00 - 11:30

Training: 11:30 - 2:00ish

Lunch:  afterwards

The Collingwood Knights FC would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin nations, the traditional owners of the land on which we train and play.

Artwork: Khali Luttrell & Gary Saunders