Wests Tigers helping with kids' behaviour

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THE NRL's Wests Tigers have jumped on board a new football program that encourages children from the south-west to stay in school.


The Slingshot program was created and developed by Miller Public School chaplain Tanya Middleton, who thought there was a need for the program after noticing several children being repeatedly suspended from school.


"There were a few kids that were getting suspended two to three times a term in primary school," she said.


"Their parents wanted to get them involved in a sport, but couldn't afford the fees and couldn't get them to the games.


"I wanted to create something that would encourage them to stay in school, something that they could work towards and they were good at."


Brodie Thew and Bailey Carroll Ryan of year 4 were first to be a part of the program.


The Wests Tigers have paid for the boys to play for the Valley United Vikings under 10 division.


They have also paid for their equipment, uniforms, mouth guards and football boots.


As part of the program the boys are required to attend their weekly training sessions and match game, as well as go to a social skills group held at school.


They are rewarded for good behaviour by getting special experiences with Wests Tigers team players.


They go to Tigers games, take a tour through their dressing rooms, meet the players and receive encouragement letters.


Miss Middleton said the boys' behaviour had changed since they started the program, three months ago.


"They are both doing really well, there's been a shift in their attitude," Miss Middleton said.


"They haven't been suspended since they're been involved."