The PFA Heroes High School mentoring program was formally launched by PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab and Victorian Education Minister Bronwyn Pike at Monash University’s High Performance Centre today. Assisting with the launch were PFA Executive member Kevin Muscat and his Melbourne Victory teammate, Grant Brebner.

Utilising the power of football to teach values to Australian school children, the pilot program features PFA members in the role of ‘in class’ mentors to students aged 13 – 15.  The PFA Mentors spend 8 sessions with participating students and work on developing values that include respect, fair play, teamwork, playing by the rules and leadership.

“The PFA Heroes program requires great commitment from the players, with each Mentor spending 16 hours with the students”, Schwab said. “The values based curriculum resonates strongly with the children and on a level that their teachers and parents can seldom achieve.  Young Australians naturally look to elite footballers who are not only inspirational role models but have also demonstrated outstanding character and leadership to reach the top of their profession.”

Also in attendance to support the program on the day was the Victorian Minister for Education, Ms. Bronwyn Pike

“We agree with parents that nothing is more important than their children’s education,” Ms Pike said. “We want to improve student outcomes and engage young students on values in ways that they can relate to. That’s why our Government is forming strong partnerships with organisations like Professional Footballers Australia.”
The learning module sees participating students attend an elite training facility to view ‘first hand’ the commitment that it takes to succeed as a professional footballer.  It also includes education on healthy eating, computer skills and the key financial items that are integral to the operation of a football club.  The program culminates with a school football gala day that is organised by PFA Heroes students for their entire school community.

PFA members and Melbourne Victory players Evan Berger, Matthew Theodore, Steven Pace, Grant Brebner, Matthew Kemp, Rodrigo Vargas, Glen Moss, Nathan Elasi, Leigh Broxham and Mitch Langerak, former New Zealand international Vaughan Coveny and former Socceroo Zeljko Susa are the PFA Heroes Football Mentors participating in this pilot program. Hume Secondary College, Fawkner Secondary College and Keysborough Secondary College are the schools that have generously volunteered to be part of our pilot program and the PFA thanks the wonderful involvement of the students that have been involved in the program over the past 8 weeks.

The PFA also acknowledges its major partner, LUCRF Super and its Chief Executive Officer Greg Sword, whose support helped make the PFA’s 6 figure investment in the program possible.