Hero Stories

More than just cricket – it’s a cause

More than just cricket – it’s a cause

Stress and anxiety are common amongst asylum seekers, particularly in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. The inability to reconnect with families who are still in other countries, limited work rights, holding only a temporary visa and a sense that asylum seekers aren’t always welcome in Australia often create a sense of disconnection. Abdul Razzaq, an asylum seeker, does not have work rights. He volunteers with Monash Health to provide community engagement opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers who are doing it tough.  

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Young South Sudanese Girl Mixing with the Best

Young South Sudanese Girl Mixing with the Best

As the country’s best young athletes came together in Sydney for the National Athletics Championships, one young South Sudanese girl from Melbourne enthusiastically traded state and territory badges with her fellow competitors. Earlier in the year, Jennifer travelled to Canberra for the national Cross Country Championships, and she hopes to compete in more in the future. For many young people, the joy of competing at national level must be constantly weighed up against the challenge of securing funds to finance the frequent interstate travel required. The struggle is typical amongst families from migrant and refugee backgrounds. 

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Soccer a Second Home for Afghan Girls

Soccer a Second Home for Afghan Girls

With the location set during the week, a group of mainly young Afghan Muslim girls converge to a soccer pitch in Melbourne’s south-east. Ace Football Club do not have a regular ground to play on, what they do have is 30 young girls around the Dandenong and Hampton Park area eager to come together to play alongside their friends.  

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Youth Voices heard at Voicefest

Youth Voices heard at Voicefest

The Futsal courts on Neill Street Reserve played host to a bubble soccer match, where children of all ages squeezed themselves into giant inflatable balls and crashed into each other. This was just one activity at Voicefest, a day that celebrated youth, expressing yourself and individuality.

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Carlton Primary School After School Sports Program 2015

Carlton Primary School After School Sports Program 2015

The school bell rings and Carlton Primary School erupts into a blur of activity. Prep kids greet their parents at the classroom door, while more senior students tear through the corridors, bags and lunchboxes in hand.

Meanwhile in the school’s multipurpose room, volunteers gather. For the last four weeks, Sports Without Borders and Carlton Primary School have coordinated and run an after school sports program on Thursday afternoon. The aim of the program is to address the lack of social integration and poor health outcomes for newly arrived communities in Australia. By discussing healthy lifestyle choices and partaking in various activities, the kids experience the joys of organised sport. And the support given by local volunteers provides a heartwarming opportunity for the students to engage with members of the wider community.

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Aspiring youth worker coordinates SEAAC Girls Soccer Tournament

Aspiring youth worker coordinates SEAAC Girls Soccer Tournament

In late August 2014, girls from the Somalian, Ethiopian, Sudanese, Eritrean, Afghan, Filipino and Indian communities in southeast Melbourne gathered at Oakleigh Indoor Soccer Sports Centre for the SEAAC Girls Soccer Tournament

Run in partnership with the Craig Family CentreVictoria PoliceCity of MonashVictorian Immigrant Refugee Women's CoalitionCentre for Multicultural Youth, African Women’s Network South East, New Hope Foundation and Sports Without Borders, the event was a huge success and a huge triumph for one particular young women, Iman Farah, who helped coordinate the event. 

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A successful first season for the Zimqueens

A successful first season for the Zimqueens

For the Zimqueens, an all Zimbabwean women’s netball team, simply playing netball together is enough. Bringing to life the sentiment that social sport is good for health, sense of community and self-esteem, the Zimqueens are a grassroots initiative and in 2014 entered a formal netball league for the first time.

With support from the Grosvenor Foundation and the Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust, Netball Victoria were able to advertise for a formal coach. Despite the difficulty in getting a coach finalized, the Zimqueens continued to attend games and practice.

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The universal language of soccer at Mooroolbark Soccer Club

The universal language of soccer at Mooroolbark Soccer Club

Ngur Sang is 16 years old. He’s originally from the Chin state in Burma, and before coming to Australia he and his family lived in New Delhi, India. Ngur speaks five languages, English, Hindi, Mizo and Falam, and the universal language of Soccer.

 

In 2014, Ngur played in the U15B side at Mooroolbark Soccer Club where he learned a lot of new skills, met new friends and said his coach, Kevin, was “friendly and funny”. Despite the challenges of overcoming the language barrier, each year is easier for Ngur.

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Aussie Rules Footy: More than just a sport

Aussie Rules Footy: More than just a sport

University High School-Victoria University Amateur Football Club (UHS VU) is more than just a footy club; foremost it’s a community.

For Tony Boyce, the current club Treasurer, the club has been a second home since he arrived in Melbourne in 1978. After years of playing, Tony has moved from on the field to behind the scenes to ensure the club can continue to provide a sense of community and competition for its members.

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Sunshine Heights Football Club: motivated coach gives back through sport

Sunshine Heights Football Club: motivated coach gives back through sport

As the son of Italian migrants who came to Australia in 1960, Renato Olivier understands that sport is a powerful tool for social inclusion.

His upbringing has catalyzed his passion for helping kids from new and emerging communities play footy at Sunshine Heights Football Club.

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