CMSport x Koorie Heritage Trust partnership funded to reduce racism in community sport 

CMSport is delighted to be among the successful recipients awarded a grant in the latest round of the Victorian Government’s Together More Active program, announced by the Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence recently.  

Over the next two years, CMSport will work in partnership with the Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT), sharing subject matter expertise to create an innovative program that will educate and empower seven of the larger Victorian State Sporting Associations (SSAs) to reduce incidents of racism in community sporting environments. The sports involved in the project include: the Australian Football League (AFL), Basketball, Cricket, Football, Netball, National Rugby League (NRL), and Tennis. 

The Future of Australian Sport report (Cameron et al., 2022) identified an urgent need for the sport sector to better respond to persistent social challenges including racism. Experiencing racism has a profound negative impact on individuals, families and wider communities, and leads to a negative impact on community and elite sport participation. 

“The overarching aim of this project is to improve the capacity and capability of the Victorian sport sector to address racism in sport,” said CMSport Manager Simon Rodder. 

“Combatting racism must acknowledge the past and understand current practices to rectify and genuinely address the adverse impact felt by First Nations and culturally diverse communities, and to reduce future incidents of racism.” 

This project will support SSAs to review and revise policies to ensure all individuals are treated equally and all environments are culturally safe. It will take a proactive approach to embedding inclusion in sport at all levels, redressing inequities in everyday practice.  

The partnership-based project will ensure a strong sense of ownership from participating SSAs through a co-design and consultation phase that focuses on organisational review, community connection and the development of resources that will equip partner SSAs to systematically identify and address racism, and opportunities to create safe sporting environments. 

This project has emerged from over 20 years of CMY work in the sport sector where multicultural communities have identified racism as a chief barrier to participation. In addition, CMSport’s partnership with KHT has identified a similar issue for Indigenous communities. The combined lived experience and wisdom in ‘what works’ for multicultural and Indigenous communities in regards to participation in community sport, has led to this partnership to pool collective experiences.  

CMSport and KHT share a vision to contribute to a safer and more equitable society. This collaboration will inform future programs and establish a best practice model to rollout to the wider Victorian sport sector.

The co-design also allows CMSport and KHT to understand the resources and limitations of SSAs and opens the door for future collaborations and pathways for continued support to the Victorian sport sector. 

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