Youth Soccer Mixed

Case study: ReaL8 Program LDAT, NSW

Project partners Street Industries, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Canterbury Bankstown Council, Georges River Council and Inner West Council.

Target audience Young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in western Sydney.

Local challenge

The LDAT’s Project Reimagine emerged off the back of COVID-19 lockdowns to provide a platform for young people to voice their experiences, confront challenges, and articulate their aspirations. 

It was driven by feedback from young people, which highlighted the lack of support and opportunities, particularly within hard-to-reach and marginalised communities, and the gaps in New South Wales’ youth services.


The LDAT ran a mapping exercise to identify which populations were not engaged with key youth and outreach services.

It highlighted that young people from culturally diverse groups, including Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian, and from low socio-economic backgrounds, such as those living in social housing estates and those involved in the criminal justice system, had no contact with mainstream services.

Canterbury Bankstown is one of NSW’s largest local government areas and this lack of engagement highlighted the need for targeted efforts to reach marginalised groups of young people.

Recognising the power of sports for connection, the LDAT collaborated with three local sport competitions – soccer, basketball, and rugby league.

This provided a platform to start conversations and establish rapport with young people.

Through these competitions, Project Reimagine established a welcoming environment where young people felt comfortable sharing their thoughts, experiences, and aspirations.

These activities fostered a sense of belonging and facilitated building trust between young people and service providers.


The LDAT engaged with 191 young people in Canterbury Bankstown.

It observed improved mental health indicators, strengthened social connections, and increased awareness of available support services among the target audience.

Stories of success were heartening and showed the project’s positive influence on participants’ lives. The activity’s holistic approach addressed immediate needs and inspired participants to envision a brighter future.

Project Reimagine also delivered a report from the voices of the young people with key recommendations for organisations and community to improve outcomes for this demographic.