The Macquarie Raiders have joined forces with local police to help steer Dubbo's youth into programs that develop confidence, life skills and positive influences.
In a new partnership program launched by the NSW police last month, team and committee members of the Raiders will attend existing 'Fit for Life' programs at the PCYC once a month to engage with young people who are at risk of antisocial or criminal behaviour.
Raiders president Jarryd Meredith along with players Corey Cox, RJ Merrit were at Tuesday's launch of the program in Dubbo to kick around a football and discuss healthy lifestyles.
"It's a great initiative," Mr Meredith told the Daily Liberal.
Mr Meredith said the club would help promote physical fitness, nutrition and social engagement, and work at providing youth with further pathways into semi-professional sport.
"Our club has got great pathway opportunities for young kids and juniors. For example our junior club South Dubbo Raiders, we go up to 16s and then they can move into senior footy," Mr Meredith said.
"Certainly a lot of our senior players are good role models to these kids to show them that pathway and show them what a healthy lifestyle looks like and how they can be employed and have a family, but also enjoy footy at a high level on the weekend."
The Fit for Life program is an intervention strategy that allows police the opportunity to engage with youth aged 10 to 17 in a neutral, relaxed and friendly environment and aims to improve overall wellbeing as well as prevent and divert youth from offending behaviours.
Each week almost 30 youths from around Dubbo are picked up from their homes at 7am and taken to the PCYC where they engage in a number of sporting activities, have breakfast and participate in a yarning circle - a safe space to discuss issues and healthy behaviours.
Orana sector supervisor of the Youth and Crime Prevention Command, Sergeant David Blom said the partnership with sporting codes would build on this program to help put a stop to young people from making poor choices.
"We're trying to prevent these kids getting into crime," Sergeant Blom said.
"So if they can see some hard-working individuals and semi-professional rugby league players they can relate to then that goes a long way for them.
"They can say 'what do I need to do to do that?', some of them can actually make something of themselves and actually become professional and make it to the NRL and other sports.
"It doesn't just happen overnight. A lot of these kids have the potential, and hopefully that link-in with the Raiders could be a start of their journey to becoming a decent rugby league player."
Planning is already under way to include other sporting codes, and in metropolitan areas has gained commitment from the NRL, NSW Rugby League, the AFL, Cricket NSW, NSW Rugby and A-League soccer.
Sergeant Blom said he was looking to engage with other local sporting teams and codes including netball.
"We can do a lot of things on the back of these partnerships," he said.
"We couldn't me happier to have the Raiders on board."