Redefined weekly news that will ignite your attention

Rugby League’s Tackle Against Youth Crime in Townsville

Rugby League's Tackle Against Youth Crime in Townsville
Image courtesy of

Engaging High-Risk Youth in Sport to Reduce Offending

In an innovative initiative to address youth offending, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has collaborated with Rugby League Townsville District, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, and the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business, and Training.

Their joint effort introduces the ‘Rugby League Helping the Community Program,’ an impactful strategy designed to intervene in the lives of young offenders in Townsville.

Targeted Engagement for Positive Impact

Launched in November 2023, this program focuses on two key groups: youths from the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre and disengaged young individuals on the verge of a criminal path.

The aim is clear to guide high-risk juvenile offenders back into the community and divert disengaged youth from potential criminal activities.

The Transformative Power of Rugby League

Harnessing the influential force of rugby league, the initiative employs the sport as a catalyst for change.

Training sessions led by former NRL and QRL players serve as a tool to break the cycle of offending, reignite community connections, and ultimately reduce criminal behaviour among youths.

A Collaborative Effort for Success

This program’s development involved collaboration among QPS, the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business, and Training, Rugby League Townsville District, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, NRL entities, and government agencies.

Notably, it secured funding under the Queensland Government’s $4 million Youth Development Partnership Fund.

Empowering Through Mentorship and Support

Inspector Jason Brosnan highlighted the collaborative effort’s focus on imparting skills, mentorship, and community support to break the cycle of criminal behaviour among young individuals.

Post-program, personalised support and opportunities to engage in local clubs are provided to ensure continued intervention and engagement.

Building a Brighter Future

Chairman of Rugby League Townsville District, Roger Whyte, emphasised rugby league’s role in instilling values like teamwork, discipline, and resilience.

The program’s holistic approach, combining influential NRL figures’ guidance with education and training from various partners and agencies, aims to reshape the futures of at-risk youths.

This collaborative endeavour signifies a proactive step towards protecting the Townsville community by equipping young individuals with the tools to redirect their paths and prevent future offences.