A sporting chance for new Monash residents

A worthwhile program aimed at helping migrant youth and newly arrived refugees get into sports at a local level is one step closer to a reality in the City of Monash.

Monash City Council has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the not-for-profit organisation Sports Without Borders, who have partnered with the Australian Multicultural Foundation, and the Pinewood Community Bank.

The key purpose of the MoU is to clearly document the cooperative relationship between the parties, which is to provide support to people from migrant and refugee backgrounds living in the City of Monash who are involved, or want to get involved in sport.

Monash Mayor Charlotte Baines said the program would give young migrants a chance to experience sport at a local level in a city that was arguably the sporting capital of the world.

“We Melburnians love our sport no matter which court, field, rink or oval we play on, and it is no different here in Monash,” Cr Baines said.

“This Sports Without Borders program will give those who are new to Monash the chance to experience a vast array of different sports and opportunities that some of us may take for granted.

“New Monash residents deserve every chance to integrate into our local community and by facilitating their participation in sport we are hopeful they will be able to do just that.”

At its November meeting, Council allocated $2,500 to the not-for-profit organisation through the Councillor Discretionary Fund to help set up the program in Monash.

Both the Pinewood Community Bank and Sports Without Borders have already pledged $10,000 each to run the program in the City of Monash.

The program will cost $30,000 over three years to operate.

As part of the MoU, Monash Council will consider making further financial contributions towards the program through its 2012 Community Grants Program as well as the 2010/2011 Councillor Discretionary Fund.