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Cats in the Community


The Geelong Cats aims to empower young people to make good choices about their health and wellbeing.

Making a difference in our community is at the heart of what we do in our aim to be ‘more than just a club’. Here at the Cats, we have flagship programs that together make up Cats in the Community. All our programs are free and have one central purpose – to build a better and healthier community with a special focus on youth.

We are proud to present the following programs in 2019. All programs are FREE.

Click here to view the 2018 Geelong Cats 'Cats in the Community' Annual Report

Community Program Focus Area
EDUCATION PROGRAMS Healthy Food Healthy Mood (Foundation – year 2) Health, Nutrition & Mindfulness
Healthy Heroes yrs 3-4 Health, Nutrition & Physical Education
BioCATS yrs 5-6 Physical Health & STEM Enquiry
Cyber Cats yr 7 Cyber Safety
Just Think yrs 8-9 Alcohol Risks & Wellbeing
Djilang Program yrs 5-10 Aboriginal Cultural Connection
GAME DEVELOPMENT & SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY Next Generation & Welcome to Geelong Social Inclusion
Footy Cats (Auskick, Junior Clubs, Read the Play) Physical Activity & Community Connection
COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE Deakin Cats Community Centre Being Healthy & Active
Cats Care (including Cats Assist, CatsWishes, CatsMatch, The Brook Community Partnerships Program, Sensory Zone) Community Equity & Connection

HEALTHY HEROES presented by Geelong Cats and GMHBA
Years 3 & 4
Incursion – 60 minutes

See how the Geelong Cats live a healthy lifestyle
Healthy Heroes is an engaging, interactive and exciting educational program that encourages and inspires students to take positive action to protect and enhance their own health and wellbeing. Through our AFL and VFLW role models, students learn the importance of keeping active, eating well, drinking water, limiting screen time and getting a good night’s rest.

Curriculum links: Health and physical education levels 3 and 4.

In partnership with Deakin University and the AFL.

For more information, please email 

Visit the interactive and educational website at

Click here to view the Healthy Cats Recipe Books

Years 5 & 6
Excursion – full day
Max. 56 students

Bring out your inner scientist with this experiential learning program, sure to create a buzz
Welcome to the inner sanctum of the Geelong Cats and the cutting edge science, mathematics and health of footy! The Geelong Cats employ a team of scientists and mathematicians to help ensure that their athletes are able to analyse and refine their performance and technique to gain the winning edge. The BioCATS program reinforces the concepts of health and wellness and the benefits that come from sports participation.

Curriculum links: Graphing, data analysis, problem solving, nutrition, training principles, recovery methods and materials technology.

Developed and delivered in partnership with BioLAB: Victorian Bioscience Education Centre, Bisinella Developments (sponsor) and SEDA College (in-kind supporter).

NOTE: BioCATS is now full in 2018. Expressions of interest for 2019 will be available in the new year.

All booking enquiries - 

Years 5 & 6
Incursion – 4 week program

An introduction to the great game of Aussie Rules Football with social inclusion themes
A clinic based program introducing students to the basic skills of AFL. The Next Gen Schools Program provides opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork around inclusion themes. A highlight of the program is connecting students with a local club who will provide insights into the benefits of being involved in team sport. Please note, as this program is limited, priority is given to schools with a student population from diverse backgrounds or with parents born overseas, of more than 10%.

In partnership with Viva Energy and Geelong Connected Communities.

For more information, please email 

Year 7
Excursion – full day
Max. 48 students

Learning to navigate the online world has become one of life’s essential skills
Cyber Cats informs students of the issues surrounding online activity and provides tools and strategies to manage their use. Students make short films on related topics. Key themes include cyber bullying, the power of the bystander, privacy and online information, legalities of online communication (e.g. sexting, bullying).

Curriculum links: Mapped to the year 7 health and physical education curriculum and the map will be provided upon request.

In partnership with Barwon Child Youth & Family, Headspace Geelong and Victoria Police.

For more information, please email 

Year 9
Excursion – full day
Max. 48 students

Evidence backed alcohol education
Just Think provides practical information and strategies to help young people avoid consuming alcohol before the age of 18. Content is informed by the National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) and has been developed with assistance from Deakin University, School of Psychology and Centre for Social, Early and Emotional Development (SEED).

Curriculum links: Just Think is mapped to the Year 9 health and physical education curriculum and map can be provided upon request.

In partnership with Barwon Child Youth & Family, Headspace, St John of God Healthcare, AFL Barwon, Geelong & District Football League, Deakin University, Communities that Care, SEDA College and Delko Tools. 

For more information, click here or email 

Years 7 – 10
5 week program

Cultural connection for young Aboriginal people
The Djilang Program works with Aboriginal community members to encourage cultural connection to empower local young people from the Barwon region. This program is offered after school and provides connection, exploration and celebration of Aboriginal culture.

This program is highlighted annually with a dedicated Indigenous match round.

In partnership with Barwon Water and the Wadawurrung community.

For more information, please email 

Age group 13 to 16 years
10 week program

Physical activity, inclusion & community connection
Geelong Cats players and coaches assist in skill development, understanding the game and encouraging participation in football. The program runs after school hours and is open to anyone from diverse and indigenous backgrounds or young people wanting to give AFL football a try for the first time. There will be two introduction sessions before players commit to an eight week program. The program includes a range of health education topics including resilience, nutrition and cyber safety.

Proudly brought to you by Viva Energy and Geelong Connected Communities, and delivered in partnership with AFL Barwon and Geelong Falcons.

For more information, please email 

Being healthy & active

The Deakin Cats Community Centre (DCC) is a state of the art facility based at GMHBA Stadium that hosts and delivers Cats in the Community programs. The DCCC is available free of charge to organisations, schools and groups to run programs that encourage healthy and active lifestyles. This purpose-built facility contributes to the club’s community vision for greater engagement with the broader Geelong community.

In partnership with Deakin University.

For more information, please email 


Family event at GMHBA Stadium Summer 2018

Social inclusion program for new arrivals
Welcome to Geelong supports and encourages Geelong’s newest Australians to enjoy our game and to connect to other Australians through belonging to a club. Guests have the opportunity to meet Cats players, our mascot Half Cat, have a kick of the footy plus enjoy face painting and afternoon tea.

In partnership with Viva Energy, Diversitat, City of Greater Geelong – The fOrT, Barwon Child Youth & Family, AFL Barwon, SEDA College, Bellarine for Refugees.

For more information, please email 

Physical activity & community connection

Individuals associated with sporting clubs have higher levels of physical and mental health compared to the Victorian population. Clubs develop skills in physical health, team work, problem solving, decision making and conflict resolution. Footy Cats is a multi-pronged program delivered to junior football clubs and Auskick Centres in Geelong. Geelong Cats players assist in skill development and encouraging participation in football.

For more information about football programs in our region 

Youth health awareness

Geelong Cats have been proud partners of the Kempe Read the Play program for 11 years. Mental health is one of the leading wellbeing issues facing young Australians. Mental disorders are more prevalent for young people aged 16-24 than any other age group, and affect 26% of young Australians in any year. Read the Play supports young people through a unique educational program delivered in local football and netball clubs that raises awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

Key themes: Mental wellbeing

For more information about Read the Play, click here - 

Community, Equity & Connection

Cats Care is the Club’s giving arm. It is our reactive response to requests right across the community. Each year the Club receives approximately 15,000 requests for assistance.

If you would like to make a request, please fill in the request form online here.

In proud partnership with Target, Karingal St Laurence, First State Super