Research &

Evidence-Based Approach


As part of the Collingwood All-Stars Youth Development Program, our program supports at-risk youth within the Collingwood and surrounding areas. This includes empowering up to 200 teenagers from migrant families in social housing in areas such as basketball coaching, academic education, social skills, volunteering, and future planning. It is our goal to empower the youth of today and to avoid common stereotypes by reducing criminal activity and keeping kids off the street.

Our approach is two-pronged: first, we encourage our players to aspire to their highest potential in sport, academia, community involvement, and beyond. Second, we hope to build social skills by integrating kids of all different backgrounds to build empathy and understanding amongst their peer groups.


  • “African migrants in Australia experience high levels of racial discrimination” according to a recent study from Monash University (Baak, 2018; Majavu, 2018, 2020; Udah, 2018)
  • Migrants have also reported that Australian neighbourhoods can be unfriendly, unwelcoming and alienating (Majavu, 2017, p. 61)
  • 21% of 6,001 respondents in a 2016 survey agreed that African refugees increase crime in Australia’ and 16.1% felt  “somewhat negative or very negative” towards African Australians.

This research reveals a consistent pattern of the migrant population not feeling as if they belong in Australia’s larger society, as well as cultural bias and prejudice emitted from people outside of the migrant community. But there is hope:

  • “Sport and physical activity interventions can be highly effective in preventing or reducing crime and other anti-social behaviours (such as substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment, mental health, truancy and early school leaving), according to the Australian Institute of Criminology in its 2003 report Sport, Physical Activity and Antisocial Behaviour
  • A 2017 Sport England report showed that sport and physical activity are effective in reducing criminal and anti-social behaviour, both directly and indirectly
  • A 2020 KPMG report noted that “a large reason for the reduction in anti-social and criminal behaviour was a result of the social connections created through sport which improve self-esteem and emotional skills, increase positive peer associations, and facilitated good communication between family members”


We believe sport is a great equalizer across economic and cultural upbringings. Integrating children of different backgrounds can reduce racial stereotypes and promote inclusivity.

Our structured program between sports, study hours, and additional programming results in 600 hours of character building, physical activity, and skillset expansion. This reduces idle time, a period of boredom where our youth tend to turn to anti-social behaviour or criminal activities.

Sport not only keeps the body-focused but improves brain cognitive function. Keeping active plays a role in preventing first-crime offenders as well as redirecting past criminals from committing further offences.

Our program catering to 12- to 24-year-olds allows the youth in our system to scale their activity as their talent progresses and they transition into adulthood. We also encourage older youth to give back to their younger cohorts, through efforts in tutoring, coaching, mentoring, and more. This ensures every age bracket is actively engaged and passing down the models of good behaviour. We also apply the same standards to every student, regardless of their background, guaranteeing an environment of equality, free of preferential treatment.

We refer to this as the “the peer pressure model”—encouraging good behaviour and leadership that inspires other program members to adopt the same traits.

Alongside our three pillars outlined in the Target Outcomes, every program attendee is expected to achieve one or more of the following upon graduating Year 12:

  • Achieving an ATAR score above the average for their demographic
  • Going on to higher education either at University or TAFE
  • Taking up an Apprenticeship
  • Obtaining full-time or part-time employment

Each of these outcomes has been linked to reduced participation in anti-social and criminal behaviour in later life, according to multiple sources in academic literature.

From the first free throw to beyond graduation, our program is designed with a variety of research to encourage positive outcomes in every player.