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AFL program encourages cultural diversity on and off the football field

AFL program encourages cultural diversity on and off the football field
March 27, 2016

Children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds are being encouraged to become involved in sport through the West Australian Football Commission's ‘Welcome to AFL’ program.

The program, supported by the Western Australian Government, aims to promote engagement between CaLD youth and football clubs and schools, with more than 20 activities and events scheduled across the State this year.

More than 30 of these youth have already taken part in the program, which focuses on youth development through teamwork, leadership and mentoring. It also promotes opportunities within the sport including playing, coaching, umpiring and administration.

Western Australian Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said AFL was an ideal vehicle to help encourage participation and community inclusion among CaLD youth.

Dr Nahan stated “bringing these youth together through football is a fun way for children from different cultures to interact in a team environment, develop intercultural understanding and build on the strengths of our diverse community.

"Multiculturalism is one of WA's greatest strengths and programs like this aim to develop the skills of these youngsters, ensuring our cultural diversity is reflected in AFL games across the State."

Western Australian Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the program went hand-in-hand with the Department of Sport and Recreation's (DSR) ongoing work in the CaLD space.

Minister Davies added “through the 'Welcome to AFL' program, young participants will also have access to other programs, including KidSport, and have the opportunity to be introduced to local sporting clubs.

"The department supports community organisations such as Edmund Rice Centre and Communicare Inc to help increase participation by introducing the young people they work with to programs like Welcome to AFL.

"Sport is a really important part of Australian life and being part of it is a great way for CaLD children to experience a new culture."

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