Sense of belonging to a community offers protection against depression (Glover et al. 1998); however, rural adolescents with mental health issues often feel isolated, lonely and socially excluded (Aisbett et al. 2007). This is exacerbated by the stoic attitudes and fear of social stigma which prevent many rural adolescents from engaging with mainstream mental health programs (Boyd et al. 2006). With this knowledge, we aimed to engage atrisk rural adolescent males who would otherwise not seek psychological help in an innovative program which would link them to a broader sporting community. The project also aimed to strengthen leaders of this community to act as mentors for these young people. In this article, we describe the development and delivery of the mentoring component of this innovative program. The outcomes for the youth involved in this program are described in the subsequent article by Kemp and colleagues in the next edition of Children Australia.