North Melbourne, in partnership with Spirit of Tasmania, has launched the Spirit Award on a trial basis at Jordan River Learning Federation’s Bridgewater Campus in a bid to encourage students to complete school and strive for excellence.

The annual award will recognise the personal achievements and contributions of a Year 9 student across Tasmania, who has strongly demonstrated the values of being real, belonging, never being beaten, bold and spirit.

North Melbourne’s Managing Director and CEO, Carl Dilena, said the program further highlights the club’s efforts to further engage with the Tasmanian community.

“We are dedicated to assisting and developing youth and see this initiative as an opportunity to encourage students to strive for excellence,” Dilena said.

“We see first-hand through The Huddle, what a little bit of confidence and motivation can do to facilitate growth in youth. That’s why we are extremely excited to bring the Spirit Award into a school environment.”

The purpose of the award is to engage and encourage students to take an active part in learning, with a focus on lower socio-economic and disadvantaged communities.

Spirit of Tasmania CEO, Bernard Dwyer, said the partnership opens the door to endless opportunities for young people.

“In addition to specifically supporting AFL football in Tasmania until 2021, we are very pleased to be partnering with North Melbourne to help foster the development of community initiatives across Tasmania and Victoria,” Dwyer said.

This work is a very important element of our overall partnership that is benefiting communities across the state. We are delighted to be able to provide a great opportunity for young Tasmanians through the Spirit Award.”

Nominated by their teachers, selected students will complete an application consisting of questions and a short video, after which five finalists will be shortlisted.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the school’s assembly on April 13 and awarded with a complimentary return trip on Spirit of Tasmania to enjoy a North Melbourne game at Etihad Stadium.

North Melbourne and Spirit of Tasmania will look to take the award state-wide, following the initial trial at Jordan River Learning Federation.