Wanderers to partner with NSW ALP on after-school care
NSW Labor has forged a new partnership that could see a Sydney football club running after-school care programs for thousands of children in western Sydney.
The opposition party will launch a $6.5 million after-school care program with soccer club Western Sydney Wanderers, benefiting up to 5000 students in the city's west, if it wins the state election on March 25.
"Sport is such a critical aspect of engaging young people to keep them in school," NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns told AAP.
"It will help get more kids active, fostering the talents of future sports stars while helping to provide hip pocket relief to families."
Wanders CEO Scott Hudson said the pressure on families was all too real across western Sydney.
"The Western Sydney Wanderers are so much more than a football club and this program, complemented by our work in Western Sydney schools, the grassroots female football space, multicultural football, all abilities programs, and indigenous football programs will create a huge boost in our community engagement activities."
The football club would begin by offering five-a-side football on school days, with up to 20,000 placements available, and offer after-school meals and a "homework club".
Children could be collected by mini-bus from their local schools and taken to the facility.
NSW Labor believes 20,000 after-school spots will be created through the program.
The party would also work to create a mobile football program at 50 western Sydney schools.
Some of the $6.5 million in funding will also be funnelled into a women's pathway into football program as well as multicultural, Indigenous and all-abilities focused football programs in western Sydney.
Both Labor and the coalition parties are sharpening their focus on western Sydney, where a handful of key seats look certain to decide the outcome of the NSW state election.
NSW deputy Labor leader Prue Car said the funding was important to ease some of the financial pressure being felt by western Sydney parents.
"We know how important these services are for parents, providing them with a range of options for their child to have a safe place to play, learn and socialise," she said.