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Wests Tigers teams up with CSNSW to Coach Inmates on and off the field

Wests Tigers' Matt Ballin, Shaun Spence and Paul Whatuira coaching inmates (2) - courtesy of CSNSW

Twelve minimum-security inmates at Goulburn Correctional Centre are being given the opportunity to learn valuable sports coaching skills with the help from the Wests Tigers NRL club.

The 10-week program is being delivered by a team of Corrective Services NSW staff with the assistance of ambassadors from the Wests Tigers and other local sporting organisations to teach the inmates techniques in a variety of sports including touch football, hockey, Australian Rules football and soccer.

CSNSW Operational Support Officer Derek Haine initiated the concept and said all inmates involved will gain a Level One Team Sports Team Management certificate, but they need to earn the privilege.

“All offenders are carefully assessed to participate and must be employed or gain employment to participate, which teaches them a structured day routine,” Mr Haine said.

“The inmates will learn about a variety of sports-related issues including anti-harassment policies, nutrition, understanding and working with athletes, and mental health awareness.

“Representatives, including players from the Wests Tigers and ambassadors from beyondblue, will visit during the 10 weeks to provide a variety of support from improving health to addressing mental health issues.”

Goulburn Correctional Centre Governor Larry Bolger said the program also provides an avenue for inmates to gain skills to help them reintegrate into the community.

“They’ll be learning team work, coaching as well as a sense of purpose and discipline to reduce their chances of reoffending,” Mr Bolger said.

“Any misconduct from the inmates will result in a review of their placement on the program.”

Wests Tigers Chief Executive Officer Justin Pascoe said the program extends the relationship between the NRL club and Goulburn Correctional Centre.

“Wests Tigers are extremely proud of the work we do in the community daily and are continually striving to expand this through new and innovative partnerships and programs and this is another example of that,” Mr Pascoe said.

“It’s great that we’re able to use the position we have as an NRL club to make a positive difference in the lives of inmates and better equip them for life back in the wider community.”

Just last year, staff at Goulburn Correctional Centre raised more than $10,000 for Australian non-for-profit organisation beyondblue, with the support and merchandise provided by the Wests Tigers NRL club.

Inmates taking part in program (2) - courtesy of CSNSW
CSNSW's Derek Haine with Wests Tigers' Matt Ballin and Paul Whatuira (2) - courtesy of CSNSW
CSNSW's Derek Haine watching over program - courtesy of CSNSW
Wests Tigers' Shaun Spence and Matt Ballin - courtesy of CSNSW