|Go for your life|
|Sports participation in Victoria occurs mostly within a structured club environment. This model usually requires participants to fit into a structure, which consists of training during the week and one day playing in competition, either at a home club or away. While this structure has existed for many years and works well in engaging mainstream young people, we know that it is this very structure that disadvantages CLD young people accessing sport and recreation options. (See Creating a Level Playing Field).|
Anecdotal evidence tells us that on any weekend in Melbourne there are a number of ethnic communities playing social games in public parks. It is these communities that would benefit most by having access to coaches and facilities that exist in a club setting.
Families from newly arrived communities often have financial difficulties paying club and association fees. As well, transport to games at other venues presents a large barrier to participation. Often familles do not have access to a vehicle, and have large familles with small children, making transport a complicated issue.
Young people from newly arrived communities often have family and cultural commitments which do not enable them to commit to regular training and competition. This creates a situation where participation in sport within the structured environment in not accessed at all.
|Exploring a Social Participation Model|
|The Go for your life project will explore a social participation model. This model will be conducted at the local club level and would target six sports in the Cities of Hume and Whittlesea.|
The Model would consist of young people paying a casual fee as they come to the club. They would then be taken through a warm up session and a skills development session followed by friendly game. There would be no obligation to compete in any home or away games and the program would accommodate participants as they entered at any stage during the season and at all levels. The games would be modified depending on the number of participants, other than a winner at the end of the session there would be no points awarded and no ladder system. Teams would vary each week depending on the participants and attendance each week is not compulsory.
Over a period of two years, CMY will target six Clubs in six different sports codes. CMY will deliver Cultural Awareness Training for each club as well as identify coaches who are willing to be skilled as Community Coaches to deliver the program each week over the regular training season. CMY will also identify a community leader who will be the liaison person between the young people and the club.
CMY's Project Officer will liase with clubs and coaches and manage and promote the project. Once the model has been trialled, the club can use the program again in the following year.
It is hoped that by exposing young people to a less structured environment to begin with, they will eventually filter into the club structure. They will also develop loco motor skills and engage in physical activity on a regular basis with other young people. This will not only benefit the young people on a physical level but will also help with integration and settlement issues.
We also feel that this model can then be used for other groups that have low participation rates, such as with women and persons with disabilities.