The Gold Coast SUNS Academy have entered into a two-year partnership with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, with education platform StreetSmarts becoming their very first naming rights partner. 

SUNS Academy Manager, Kath Newman said the partnership is very important for the Academy and a massive step forward for what’s becoming a big part of the club. 

“While people see our program as a football program, we also do a massive amount of education off-field in terms of health and well-being,” New said. 

This adds another avenue to what we do, providing a well-rounded education process”. 

The StreetSmarts program aims to engage directly with communities about road safety issues, shine a light on driver education and road safety, and bring about social change to encourage safe driver behaviour. 

The SUNS Academy’s core demographic is players who are on the brink of obtaining their driver’s licence, and Newman says they are the people we want to get the important message across to. 

“We see our Under-16 players roll up for the first time with mum and dad dropping them off, then over the next couple of months, we see them driving with their L-plates on,” Newman said. 

“We also see them progress to the Under-18 level where they’re on their red P’s and then get their green P’s when they graduate from the Academy. 

“We see them on that journey, and we want to make sure we’re producing really safe road users and they are role models for their peers. 

“When young people get their licence, often we see them driving around with a group of people in the car with them. 

“We want to make sure that at least the Academy players know the correct way to use the road, and that they can be that conscience in the car if someone starts to do something risky, so they can keep everyone safe”. 

StreetSmarts will have prominent branding across all major Gold Coast SUNS Academy apparel and assets, including the back of the SUNS Academy guernsey. 

This announcement coincides with National Road Safety Week, running from 14 to 21 May and now in its eleventh year. 

The week remembers the 1200 people who lose their lives and 44,000 people injured in road trauma on Australian roads and highways each year.