Young people from refugee and migrant communities in New South Wales continue to be supported with programs encouraging social inclusion through sport. Sport programs are increasingly utilised to connect with young people and are often led by professional sport clubs, local councils and community groups. Sports Without Borders along with partners Bennelong Foundation and the Telco Together Foundation have contributed to the support of these communities through tailored sport programs, events and a sports scholarship program which provides direct grant funding for young people to participate in sports clubs.
Sports Without Borders initiatives use sport as a vehicle to drive social inclusion and foster engagement in society. Connecting young people to the communities around them plays a pivotal role in addressing the issues faced by those from new and emerging communities. Sport helps reduce social tensions at the community and national level by addressing the causes of social exclusion. Importantly sport is an alternative entry point for the social and economic life of excluded communities, helping them integrate with mainstream society.
In the past three years, Sports Without Borders has delivered and supported the following programs:
- Direct grant funding to young people wishing to participate in sport clubs and community organisations. This program has been particularly useful for people from newly arrived communities unable to pay registration fees at sport clubs.
- Direct grant funding to support sport clubs be more inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds. The following clubs were successful in their applications: Auburn District Cricket Club, Bankstown Sports AFL Club, Miranda Magpies Netball Club, Parramatta Lions Junior AFL Club, Ramsgate Cricket Club and Weston Creek Wildcats Junior AFL Club
- GOALS (Gaining Opportunities And Life Skills) programs have been delivered with schools and community groups. This year the program was delivered by NSW Sport Development and Support within the Office of Sport to students from Lurnea High School and Miller Tech High School.
- Girls Ready was a program run by Netball NSW and the Lebanese Muslim Association. The program focused on empowerment of girls through sport.
- Soccer coaching program support provided to Creating Chances, funding 20 secondary school students as coaches to run sporting clinics for primary school students in Parramatta.
The program was managed by Marielle Latour from Sports Without Borders, who promoted a diverse set of sports programs and initiatives. Latour said “the programs have been an outstanding success. All the kids that have participated have not only gained important life skills but have also enjoyed the benefits that sport provides including teamwork, being healthy and active, having fun and being part of a community. It has been a joy to manage.”
Focusing on sport to engage communities and promote diversity has made a profound impact on society in Sydney and New South Wales. Community groups and grassroots sport clubs now also have the support of large professional clubs in western Sydney and the NSW Government, who recently established a rebate program to reduce the costs of sport club registrations for school children.
Thank you to Bennelong Foundation and the Telco Together Foundation for their support Sports Without Borders programs and encouraging social inclusion of new and emerging communities through sport in Sydney.