Northern Bay College captains Jevic Mwenza and Ali Sinawalizada have clear goals for life, thanks largely to their involvement in their school’s SEED program.

SEED stands for Sport, Empowerment, Education and Development. It uses sport as a foundation for creating young people with leadership and life skills, as well as pathways to future study and work.

Jevic is striving to secure a scholarship with a USA college that will see him playing soccer and studying. Ari is aiming to complete a Business Degree and keep playing soccer. Both have been in the SEED program throughout their secondary schooling, and both credit it with helping guide their future pathways.

“SEED is a guide for sport and life,” Jevic said. “It’s a structure to be a better person. My family sees it as professional, like an academy school. It makes me want to be better.”

Ari said the program is “all about opportunity and building character and giving back to the school. Being role models is important to us; we want to leave a legacy.”

SEED, in its sixth year, is overseen by Director of Sport Steven ‘Stoofa’ Lewry and Sports Co-ordinator Ben Lowry. They co-ordinate sports including cricket, basketball, volleyball, badminton, AFL, soccer and athletics both onsite at the Goldsworthy Campus, and other sporting venues. Specialist coaches are brought in for each sport.

The students have access to a gym for strength and conditioning, while a Track Club running every day from 7.30 until 8.15am has up to 60 participants. Coach and trainer Mark McDowell went the former Corio Technical School on the same site and is amazed at the transformation of the school and the opportunities it has created. “I also enjoy the diversity and how they all get on,” he said.

Senior students have the option to study Sport and Recreation as a VET course, which gives them a qualification and keeps them involved in their sport. For some it results in a job at the school, with nine graduates employed in traineeships this year, on their pathway to teaching.

Campus principal Erin Prendergast said the success of SEED lies in its ability to engage students and give them purpose. “For some, it gets them here for the day.”

Ms Prendergast said about 70 per cent of students on the Goldsworthy campus are SEED participants. SEED Links programs have also been established on the college’s four other campuses and play a role in helping Grade 5 and 6 students transition to the senior campus.

Lauren Kelly is another participant who is setting big goals – she wants to play cricket for Australia and become a primary school PE teacher. She’s confidently on track to meet both goals.

Lauren is receiving additional training as a Barwon Sports Academy athlete and last cricket season with North Geelong won a premiership, the batting award for Geelong Cricket Association’s Under 19 competition, was second in the bowling award and was named best junior.

Basketballer James Finnie was considering a change of school before he entered the SEED program. He is now thinking about his future study, which might be sports science or nursing.

“SEED made the difference,” he said. “It gives me something I’m passionate about. I’m genuinely grateful.”

Steven Lewry remains committed to the program and delights in every success. “I’m proud of the students and their growth,” he said. “They have stature in the community and a plan for their future.”

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