Melbourne Victory have released an extensive three-year community strategy with the overall goal to improve the current youth football landscape for Victorians in a multitude of areas.
Caroline Carnegie, managing director of Melbourne Victory, stated that club is with an emphasis on the importance of making football more accessible to the youth.
The executive summary explains: “Melbourne Victory has a proud history of supporting the Victorian community. We are the club for all Victorians, striving to lead, unite, connect and inspire generations through football. Although football is central to everything we do, we are more than football.”
The Strategic Plan has three pillars that centre the whole project and its philosophy:
Purpose: Melbourne Victory has an obligation to ensure football is accessible and empowering to all. We are responsible for stewarding a community that leverages football to positively impact lives.
Vision: Victory is committed to lead, united, connect and inspire generations through football. The Club will ensure every young Victorian has an opportunity to reach their potential whilst enjoying a happy and healthy life.
Mission: Creating a passionate and connected community where all people are welcome and all people belong, Melbourne Victory will actively engage disadvantaged/vulnerable Victorian youth in the development and delivery of meaningful football programs that lead to positive social impact. We will actively reduce the barriers to accessing quality football experiences, improving the overall health, wellbeing and social connectedness of young Victorians
Melbourne Victory also set concrete targets they wanted to be achieved by the end of the strategic plan in 2025. These include:
- Increase program delivery by 50% (From 70 to 105 total)
- Increase program participants by 50% (From 15,000 to 22,500)
- Increase grassroots football club engagement by 10%
- Increase school program delivery by 100%
- Increase MVFC football pathway program delivery by 33%
- Increase female participation by 166%
- Increase CALD program delivery by 50%
The club also is focusing on four strategic priorities in order to efficiently use their resources and ultimately have the greatest impact they can on the progression of the young kids into adulthood. These are:
Increasing opportunities for people unfamiliar with the game of football to participate as a coach, player, administrator, volunteer or fan in the club’s attempt to provide an enjoyable experience for Victorian youth.
Melbourne Victory support the development of skills for wider learning, work and life. They will leverage the beautiful game to encourage vulnerable youth to better engage with their education.
Victory will support representatives of LGBTI+ communities in breaking down cultural barriers and making football a safe environment for all. They will also be providing accessible, welcoming and enjoyable opportunities for girls to play, coach and watch football.
Victory want to celebrate and welcome the many cultures seen in Victoria using football, the global sport. Providing a safe space is important in growing the multiculturalism in the game amongst the youth.
The club in the community strategy suggest that whilst there is a clear rationale for each of the four priorities, they will combine them all in their programs.
Victory are also going to monitor the overall results of their football programs by following seven critical factors. These will be in addition to the targets set already for the three-year span of this project.
- MVFC club culture and operations embedded in its community programming sector
- Financial sustainability to help reduce costs for participants to play locally
- Program design and relationship building with the Victorian community to deliver programs to clubs and areas that need it the most
- Networking and keeping positive relations with key stakeholders like the federal and state governments, schools and grassroots clubs
- Program delivery being at an elite standard
- Workforce capacity amongst the community programs
- Evaluation through quantitative and qualitative feedback to determine success.
It’s great to see an A-League club like Melbourne Victory take initiative in providing support and resources for the youth and future of football in this state and the country, an area that does need more focus if Australia want to sustain a healthy relationship with the sport for generations.
To see the Community Strategy in full, click here.