CMY’s Welcome Football wins Multicultural Award for Excellence in Sport

At the 2020 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence last night, the Centre for Multicultural Youth and Football Victoria were the proud recipients of an Award in the category of Excellence in Sport for the Welcome Football program.

This initiative has supported over 500 young people and their families who are newly-arrived in the City of Hume, to build connections with their local community and develop leadership skills through the world game, soccer.

The annual Awards, coordinated by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, recognise people, groups and organisations that foster cross-cultural understanding, build social cohesion, and support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to participate in all aspects of life.

The Sport Award recognises people and organisations that develop and implement sporting programs that build social cohesion and harmony across communities.

“Over the three years that the Welcome Football program has run, it’s been strongly embraced by the community in and around the City of Hume,” says Ed Alexander, CMY’s Project Officer.

“Seeing what sport, and in particular, football, can do in not only bringing communities together but also supporting young people to pursue their broader goals in life, has been a powerful experience over the course of Welcome Football’s journey.”

The program is delivered with the help of Community Champions, young people who are trained in coaching and refereeing, and then volunteer their time to the program, which Alexander says has been a key element of its success.

“Our volunteer Community Champions have been the heart and soul of the program and this award is a wonderful recognition of all of their work and commitment. It’s proved a successful model and one that I hope can be replicated with many more communities in the future.”