Return of the Breakfast Club

Marrickville Council’s Breakfast Club is returning after a remarkably successful 10-week pilot program.

It was designed to attract Aboriginal young people (12 to 24) from Marrickville South, providing them with regular exercise overseen by stars from the Rabbitohs Rugby League Club, access to healthy meals, and assistance to attend school.

A post-program evaluation found that 60 percent of participants identified as Aboriginal, 59 percent were from the Marrickville South area, and 100 percent said the program motivated them to go to school and that they wanted the program to continue.

Other findings include: 40 percent of participants were female 58 percent have swapped some of their regular foods for healthier options, 100 percent also found that the program improved their fitness, 92 percent rated the experience as ‘excellent’, 8 percent said it was ‘good’, and 70 percent of participants are now aware that Barnardos can help them if they, a friend or family member have an issue with drugs or alcohol.

Interest in the team was so great that the intake had to be capped at 26 participants.

The average number of participants at each session was 23.

“I am really thrilled at the success of this program Mayor of Marrickville Jo Haylen said.

“In fact, every single person who hears about the Breakfast Club and the results we had during the pilot is so impressed.

“It turns around the lives of young people in South Marrickville who are doing it tough.

“We identified that these kids were engaging in at-risk behaviours and not accessing the available support programs.

“They had poor school attendance and unhealthy lifestyles.

“We know this program works because every single participant from last session said they are now fitter and more motivated to go to school.

“I look forward to more great results.”