By Ben Gilby
Above: Hayley Ann Mooney playing football at the Moriarty Foundation’s Dubbo Hub. Photo: Jacquie Manning.
Impetus is extremely proud to have further extended our charity partnership with Moriarty Foundation by announcing that the site is sponsoring young female JMF Scholarship Holders from regional NSW.
The funds will go towards helping these talented young footballers in their skills development, and go towards equipping them with football gear, club fees, travel to games and support for their schooling; putting them onto the pathway to a better future.
Established in 2012, Moriarty Foundation delivers two groundbreaking and interrelated community initiatives in remote and regional Australia, Indi Kindi and John Moriarty Football.
John Moriarty Football (JMF) is Australia’s longest-running and most successful Indigenous football initiative for 2-18 year-olds. JMF’s transformational skills program uses football for talent and positive change. JMF has a proven track record of improving school attendance and achieving resilient, healthier outcomes for some of Australia’s most remote Indigenous communities.
Each week JMF reaches more than 2,000 children, with equal participation of boys and girls in 19 communities and 20 public schools across New South Wales, Queensland, and the Northern Territory through in-school and after-school sessions, free school holiday clinics, weekend tournaments, and in juvenile justice facilities.
JMF is a holistic initiative that encourages regular school attendance, healthier lifestyles, self-respect, and community engagement through football and teamwork.
Michael MacDougall, Moriarty Foundation’s Scholarships and Pathway’s Manager explained the process of selection for JMF’s scholarship programme.
“The selection is based on talent and their commitment to playing football – for instance training and improving their skills – as well as their dedication to their education and schooling. The scholars mostly come from our grassroots JMF sessions which take place both in-school and after school.”
The scholarship produces incredible opportunities for the young people from both an educational and footballing perspective, as Michael outlined.
“The JMF Scholars studying in Sydney work hard at school and on the field. They attend some of Australia’s top schools so they can receive a quality education but also access training with some of the best football coaches in the country.
“Each week they attend an additional technical training session after school with JMF coaches, as well as an intensive tutoring session to support their school work.
“Along with attending a top school, JMF Scholars also play for a NPL football club, which involves training at least three times a week, along with playing matches on weekends during competition season.”
This year’s scholars follow in the footsteps of some outstanding previous scholarship holders.
Marra woman Shadeene Evans is JMF’s inaugural scholarship holder. She went on to debut with A-League Women side Sydney FC, was selected as Young Matilda vice-captain, and was awarded the 2020 Role Model of the Year by Football Federation Australia. Shadeene also won a full academic scholarship to study social work at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. She also played for Adelaide United in the 2021/22 A-League Women season.
JMF additionally has two current scholars studying in Sydney who are in their final years of high school and are playing for NPL teams.