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Taking great strides in mentoring PNG youth athletes

7 July 2014

Taking great strides in mentoring PNG youth athletes

The Gold Coast marathon took place over the weekend of 5-6 July, 2014, with a special group of Salvation Army mentees taking part.

The eight young people, from Papua New Guinea, were sponsored by The Salvation Army’s PNG Youth Ambassadors Marathon Mentoring Program and ran in the marathon under the banner of a running group called the Salvo Striders.

“We know from more than 50 years of involvement with The Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea, that many local adolescents and young adults face challenges with high rates of unemployment and limited opportunities,” says Aged Care Plus CEO Sharon Callister, who ran alongside the mentees in the marathon.

“This new mentoring program is a holistic training program for healthy bodies, minds and hearts with the intention of mentoring individuals who will then share their knowledge with whole communities,” says Ms Callister.

The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus and Humanitarian Mission Services are the major sponsors of The Salvation Army PNG Youth Ambassadors Marathon Mentoring Program, which is giving these enthusiastic young people the chance to participate in a life changing, confidence building program that included competing in the Gold Coast Marathon.

Under the program, these young people have also been given the opportunity to go on to further training and gain qualifications in health and fitness or another educational qualification.

“Many PNG adolescents and young adults face challenges with lack of self-confidence and limited education and employment opportunities,” said Commissioner James Condon.

“So, under the guidance of senior leaders and Salvation Army mentors, the PNG candidates will be provided with the opportunity to enrol in further education. This will enable them to return to PNG and share their knowledge and newly acquired skills among their local community.”

Over the weekend, aside from the marathon, a large group of Salvation Army personnel took part in various activities and gained sponsorship. Among them were the territorial Commander, Commissioner Condon, Lieutenant- Colonel David Godkin, (Secretary for Personnel), Bill Hunter (leader of God’s Sports Arena church in Brisbane) and Captain Brett Mitchell (Director, Salvos Counselling).

Photo Credit: Shairon Paterson

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In training for the Gold Coast Marathon – Teggy Gomara, Isaac Yasaking, Philip Murry, Willie Gobana, Dorothy Gabi, Maimu Kala, Kila Apa,  Karogo Rotona, Morgan Sevi and Kemo Apa.

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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