Richmond players Marlion Pickett and Bachar Houli will spearhead a new State Government initiative using sport to engage at-risk youth.

The new Sports Alliance partnership between elite sport and the State Government was announced by Minister For Crime Prevention Ben Carroll at Richmond Football Club this morning.

The Alliance will focus on supporting at-risk youth and addressing the causes of crime. It will deliver programs focused on engaging young people, building community connections and supporting young offenders to turn their lives around.

“I know firsthand sport can change your life and provide opportunities that you never dreamed of,” Pickett said at this morning’s launch. “It helped me turn my life around and it could do the same for countless young people.”

Online resources will be developed first to support vulnerable young people and communities, with community programs and initiatives to be developed beyond that as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions continue to ease.

The Alliance will work across a number of sports beyond Australian Rules Football, including netball, basketball, rugby league and soccer.