With over 15 years’ experience in facilitating participation in sport, CMY recognises that sport is an effective tool for engaging young people, especially newly-arrived young people. CMY delivers sport programs for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds to increase social cohesion and participation.
Welcome Football uses the world game to promote social cohesion and build connections to the local community for newly-arrived young people and their families, as they are settling in Australia.
The feelings of isolation experienced by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds can have a devastating impact on their mental health as they are finding their feet in a new and unfamiliar environment. The program uses the universal language of football as a tool to engage young people from diverse backgrounds, and provide a bridge to the local community.
The program is focused in Melbourne’s northern region, with particular attention on Hume and surrounds (Whittlesea, Darebin, Moreland) where settlement numbers from Syrian and Iraqi communities have been most significant.
Welcome Football has many aspects to it, including:
- Regular in-school and after-school football programs
- School holiday programs and special events
- The Community Champions program (young people are recruited to undertake leadership and project management training, and coaching and refereeing courses - who then volunteer their time to co-facilitate the program.)
- Support for participants to register for local clubs.
Since its inception in 2017, over 500 young people and 7 schools have participated in Welcome Football activities. Welcome Football has supported these young people and their families in their settlement and assisted them to make new friends, develop their English language skills, mix with their local community, and develop life skills through the enjoyment of sport.
For further enquiries, please contact Ed Alexander:
T: (03) 9340 3740 / 0431 580 341
CMY works in partnership with Football Victoria to deliver Welcome Football.
CMY's sports program aims to create a more inclusive and responsive sports sector that is attuned to the needs of refugee and migrant young people, as well as increase their access and participation in sport and recreation.
To do this, CMY works with sporting bodies such as a clubs and State Sporting Associations to increase cultural diversity in sport.
Visit our Vimeo channel to watch short films about young people and sports:
YMNT - A young, multicultural netball team in Gippsland.
Refugees Saving Lives - The settlement story of an Afghan lifesaver.
Habib Speaks - The story of an Afghan footy player.
The All Stars - A young basketball team in Collingwood.