PFA Heroes: Inspiring Australian Students

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Heroes program, which is supported by LUCRF Super, is off and running again with lessons beginning at Hume Central Secondary College, John Fawkner Secondary College and Keysborough Secondary College over this week.

PFA Member and Melbourne Heart's Matt Thompson works with students from John Fawkner Secondary College. Now into its second year, the PFA Heroes program is an 8 lesson learning module that uses both PFA members and football to teach fundamental values to Australian school children.

PFA President Simon Colosimo is excited about the prospect of PFA Members contributing to the community in this way. “One of the challenges we all face in life is to work hard to succeed whatever environment we find ourselves in,” he said. “The footballers that I have worked with over my career show strong discipline and make sacrifices so that they can play our game. It will be fantastic to work with the Hume students on how they too can succeed in their school and community.”

Participants in the program learn about values that include fair play, respect, teamwork and pride in representation with PFA members in the role of classroom mentors to facilitate this learning. Through these mentoring roles, PFA members engage with Australian kids in a way that their parents and teachers can seldom achieve.

In addition to seven in class lessons, the Heroes program sees participating students attend an A-League Club 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.

The PFA’s Melbourne Heart Delegate Wayne Srhoj said he was looking forward to further working with the students at John Fawkner Secondary College. “To be able to take the time to work with the kids at John Fawkner is fantastic,” said Wayne. “The students had the chance to ask me some difficult questions about respect, teamwork, fair play and leadership this week and I’m impressed at their understanding of the similarities that exist between the school yard and a football club.”

“Just like a team, the more we get to know each other the better we’ll become together and it will be great to see the program culminate in an event for the entire school community here at Fawkner.”

12 PFA members are currently involved in the mentoring roles. They are Melbourne Heart’s Eli Babalj, Simon Colosimo, Brendan Hamill, Jason Hoffman, Michael Marrone, Wayne Srhoj, Matt Thompson and Ante Tomic and Melbourne Victory’s Grant Brebner, Leigh Broxham, Matthew Kemp and Rodrigo Vargas.

LUCRF Super is proud to be involved in supporting such a fantastic community initiative that fosters values aligned with those of our fund.

To learn more about LUCRF Super's partnership with PFA, please click here.