Ballantyne helps fire up youth program

David SalvaireSound Telegraph
Fremantle Dockers player Hayden Ballantyne with Baldivis Brumbies coach Craig Hamersley, Youth on Fire coordinator Rhys Peakman and Louis Baker, 14.
Camera IconFremantle Dockers player Hayden Ballantyne with Baldivis Brumbies coach Craig Hamersley, Youth on Fire coordinator Rhys Peakman and Louis Baker, 14. Credit: David Salvaire

Fremantle Dockers firebrand Hayden Ballantyne lent his skills to the Youth on Fire initiative recently, putting youths through their paces at the new Baldivis South Sports Pavilion.

The initiative started earlier this year in a bid to engage youth and improve mental health outcomes.

Program co-ordinator Rhys Peakman said the Baldivis community had rallied around the cause.

“It’s really great to see Hayden down here with the boys because he’s obviously a great player and he has a strong connection to Baldivis,” he said.

“We’ve been pushing forward with the program and it’s going from strength to strength. We had a heavyweight professional boxer down here last week, headspace have been coming down to every session and we’ve been doing a lot of gym work.

“The kids are getting a lot out of it and everyone is really on board with what we’re trying to do.”

Ballantyne and Baldivis Brumbies coach Craig Hamersley ran drills with the kids before holding a debrief session.

The program will run for eight weeks, with regular workout sessions at Gold’s Gym.

Mr Peakman said he was excited about making a lasting change in young people’s lives.

“The privilege of running a program like this for youth is seeing people in the community rallying together,” he said.

“People are willing to give their time, energy and talents at no cost at all and it’s truly humbling to witness.

“Through exercise these kids are building confidence and self-improvement skills.”

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