Knights players have significantly higher rates of homelessness, unemployment and drug and alcohol abuse compared to Victorian and National averages. Participant involvement with the Collingwood Knights in Reclink Australia’s social inclusion program has facilitated life-changing opportunities and paved pathways for positive change. The Collingwood Knights program improves participants’ economic, health and social outcomes.
The social return on investment for the Reclink Australia structured sport program indicates that for every $1 invested in cash, staff time, volunteer time and other resources, it generates at least $8.94 in social value through crime reduction, employment outcomes and skill development.
Participation in regular, high intensity physical activity has a positive impact on both physical and mental health outcomes. At the Collingwood Knights, we combine the physical benefits of participation in AFL with other social supports, providing participants with the opportunity to improve their wellbeing through nutrition, drug and alcohol treatment, anger management, and access to housing and mental health services.
The Collingwood Knights provides a sense of belonging and trust from participating ‘in something bigger than oneself’. This is referred to as Social Capital, which involves the diffusion of knowledge about health promotion, maintenance of healthy behavioral norms and access to various services. Participation in sporting programs such as the Knights promotes social connectedness, provides a platform for social interventions and opportunities for teamwork, leadership and conflict resolution.
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