Thrive Scholarship


For over 10 years Next Step Foundation has been building inclusive pathways for children of all abilities through our FREE soccer programs. Supporting over 400 children to maximise their engagement in sport, we have changed the lives of children and their families. Our unique football program has been offered through our standalone community programs and through collaborations in primary schools.

The time is now right we believe to evolve our program to embrace the evidence that inclusion in the mainstream learning environment offers superior social and skills opportunities for children. We will partner with Soccajoeys Kids Soccer Classes to support the full participation of children within the mainstream football skills development setting.

The benefits of regular physical activity are many and equally important for children of all abilities including:
• Improved cognitive benefits
• Better emotional and psychological health
• Improved social and motor skills
• Improved self-esteem

Families report that children attending the free Next Step Foundation programs see improvements in coordination, balance, motor skills and body awareness, behaviour, self-confidence and building friendships.

Reasons children participate are described as:

Lack of social interaction skills

Sensory deficiency

Low hand/eye/foot co-ordination

Lack of movement skills and targeted skills development

We know we are being ambitious but are firm in our conviction that Inclusive education requires putting inclusive values into action to ensure all children belong, participate and flourish.

Next Step Foundation Thrive Scholarship – details

Next Step Foundation are offering a 12-month full scholarship program to fund 3 children to join a mainstream Soccajoeys Kids Soccer Class. We will work with Soccajoeys coaches, families, and support/professional staff to build a unique inclusion opportunity. The program adaptation will include space, task, equipment, and coaching style.

Applications are open to children in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia and ACT in locations where Soccajoeys’ Kids Soccer Classes are currently offered. 


To be considered for the scholarship the participant will be:

✓ between 3-5 years of age
✓ have received a medical diagnosis
✓ able to access a therapist that can be included in and funded by the scholarship
✓ willing to participate in ongoing evaluation of the program impact and outcomes
✓ able to make a commitment to a 12-month program (with a 6-month review option)
✓ the scholarship opportunity falls outside existing funding for the child

Steps in the process

1. Application is invited via Next Step Foundation website using the online application form below
2. Interview with Next Step Foundation Director Jose Bello with family and therapist
3. Notification of enrolment in the program within 14 days of application
4. Sign up to Next Step Foundation Thrive program in a Soccajoeys Kids Soccer Classes near you (includes a 12-month customised skills development plan)
5. Ongoing monitoring and contact between family, therapist and Soccajoeys coaches to monitor impact

Application form

A recent SBS promotion of our charity via social media generated 25,000 views and over 140 written expressions of interest. We know our program works and that families and children benefit greatly once engaged.

Phone Scam Alert!

Please be advised we have become aware of a scam where customers have been called by an individual claiming to be a representative of Next Step Foundation. During the call the customers have been asked to donate money or provide banking details. Next Step Foundation does not engage in cold calling as we have ethical fund-raising practices outside of the scope of cold calling.

Here’s what to do if you are affected:
If you receive one of these calls, please do not supply any of your banking details and immediately end the call.
If you have already received one of these calls and you have valuable information about this fraudulent activity, please contact us on:

Phone: +61 4 11 813 540
Email: [email protected]