The history of Creating Chances
Creating Chances was born through a groundbreaking partnership between Rugby Youth Foundation and Football United.
Created in 2004 in the boardroom of New South Wales Rugby Union thanks to a generous grant from a benefactor, Rugby Youth Foundation provided rugby-based sports and mentoring programs to youth and children in some of NSW’s most disadvantaged communities including Campbelltown, Holroyd and Mt Druitt. In its 12 years of operation, Rugby Youth Foundation worked with schools, community organisations, councils and local area commands to promote social cohesion through sport.
Football United, which was developed from research at the University of NSW, has been using soccer as a vehicle for positive social change and addressing issues of social inequity since 2006. Football United addresses issues of racial tension and social cohesion within culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Western Sydney, particularly in areas with high percentages of refugee and humanitarian immigrant settlement. The global game is a perfect platform to bring them together and provide opportunities for sport and inclusion.
Together, these two organisations used the power of sport to deliver programs to over 10,000 young Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, helping them to develop leadership skills and aspire to a brighter future.
Then came a game changer. Following Australian Research Council-funded research conducted by Football United at the University of NSW in 2012, the Creating Chances Program was developed and a new collaboration was born – a partnership and social enterprise dedicated to reaching beyond specific sports and disparate communities, to create chances for social cohesion and personal development through a shared passion for sport.
The Creating Chances Program is based on four years of development and is underpinned by robust research, trialing and revision, experience and practical application in the use of sport for positive youth development. It embodies a new approach to the use of sport for social development for young Australians: the Creating Chances Youth Development Pathway. The pathway is a series of 10-week programs that uses the power of sport as an engagement tool, teaching vital 21st Century skills, and aligned to the national curriculum.
While the Creating Chances Program has been operating since 2014, the social enterprise was officially launched in 2016. Now, Creating Chances works with over 50 schools and community-based organisations across Sydney and NSW, to teach young people that their backgrounds, experiences and abilities are not barriers – and that every young person can write their own story.