Victoria Police Soccer COPPS Program Visits Bendigo
On 4th and 5th of June 2018, The Victoria Police Soccer Club brought their COPPS youth soccer program to Bendigo. The unique program, supported by local Police and Bendigo Blue Light, provided 2 extraordinary days of Police and youth engagement with 500 students and 5 schools involved.
The purpose behind the ‘Soccer COPPS Program ’ is for community youth groups to gain mutual respect and build ‘social bridges’ with Victoria Police, in a fun and positive environment.
Local schools involved were chosen due to their over representation of marginalised, socially disadvantaged and economically challenged ‘at-risk’ youth.
Each session commenced with an interactive Police/student discussion about contemporary matters which are impacting the youth of today. Topics discussed included safety and strategies around bullying, cyber safety and awareness of taking action in emergency situations.
Concluding each day saw school students presenting to police, artwork and certificates that they had all prepared themselves to acknowledge their appreciation of the program.
On-going relationships have now been formed between Police and the schools involved which will see future student/police engagement programs continue.