Congratulations to Selin Arpaci, one of our Welcome Football Community Champions, who picked up the Victorian Multicultural Commission's Youth Award in November.
At only 20 years of age, Selin is aware of the struggles associated with social isolation, driving her in her work to ensure her community is one of inclusivity, and embraced her passion football to make a difference.
Selin is a Community Champion volunteer with CMY’s Welcome Football program, where she has made a huge difference to the lives of newly arrived young people in the City of Hume.
The Community Champions program is a youth leadership component of Welcome Football that engages local young people as volunteers to be actively involved in the development and delivery of the project and support participants during their involvement with the project.
“There aren’t many opportunities for young people in this area and I thought becoming a Community Champion was a great chance to do something for my community,” Selin says.
Selin has been one of the most active Community Champions, delivering 12 in-school football sessions to English as an Additional Language primary and secondary students and was instrumental in the planning and delivery of the Welcome Football Cup that saw 45 young people come together for a football tournament celebrating cultural diversity in 2018. She also successfully co-delivered a School Holiday Program in January 2019 to 36 kids.
“Selin has been one of the program’s most dedicated volunteers, consistently demonstrating her care and compassion for young people. She is always looking for ways to get other local young people involved in the program, be it as volunteers or participants, and is a wonderful role model for anyone aspiring to use sport for good,” said Ed Alexander, Welcome Football Project Officer.
Acknowledging that it is a challenge to engage young girls with sports, Selin is very involved in trying to find strategies to do so more effectively, and has also volunteered her time to run a girls-only program at Broadmeadows Leisure Centre as well as taking a lead with girls-only school sessions.
Big congratulations to Selin for her continued dedication to the promoting inclusivity and diversity within the sporting world; such an inspiration to us all!