A SUNBURY-based sporting program supporting youth has been future-proofed with two significant sponsorships confirmed last week.
Sunbury Phoenix Football Club, which plays in the Reclink Australia midweek competition, was created in 2015 on the back of support by Rosenthal Estate, which recommitted to the program for this year and next, bringing its contribution to nearly $50,000.
Winslow Constructors is also supporting the team, committing $10,000 after being impressed by the outcomes of the program, which include players moving into employment.
Winslow has further committed to give work experience and employment to players engaging with the program.
Reclink Australia founder Peter Cullen said the support for the Sunbury program facilitated by Brian Millett was “unprecedented”.
“What is happening in Sunbury is quite unique and the program has brought together support agencies, police, Sunbury Rotary and local business,” he said.
“We’ve always maintained Reclink programs are low cost, high impact and we’d be hoping with the sponsorship confirmed the program can be rolled out beyond football, cricket and triathlon as it has to date.”
Winslow operations manager Steve Strana told Leader he’d initially heard about the program from his dealings with Rosenthal and thought it fitted his company’s corporate responsibility.
“When I learnt what Reclink was doing for some disadvantaged people, I thought this would be a great way to give something back to the community,” he said.
“I’ve played sport all my life and know it is a great way of connecting.
“If any of the guys show the potential to be a good solid worker, we’d be willing to take them on.”
Rosenthal general manager Paul Millett said he was more than happy to continue the support for Sunbury Phoenix and his brother Brian.
“It has been a success in my book,” he said.
“By nature it’s a transient group – you come down to see games and you say to Brian or one of the other volunteers, where’s so and so and then you learn their not playing any more as they’ve got a job now.
“I see Sunbury Phoenix as providing a spark to people who need it.
“I’m part of a local business and come from a family that’s been in the area for 100 years so helping local people is a big aim of mine.”
Last Wednesday Sunbury Phoenix defeated a team from Collingwood by 35 points.