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Australian sports urged to engage All Cultures

Australian sports urged to engage All Cultures
February 18, 2010

The Minister for Sport Kate Ellis yesterday launched a new online resource to help sporting groups engage more sportspeople from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Minister Ellis joined the Australian Sports Commission and leading national sports to promote All Cultures, a program that aims to connect people from new migrant groups with their local sporting clubs.

Minister Ellis explained "as the composition of our community continues to evolve then so must Australian sport.

"New migrants are two-thirds less likely to participate in sport than other Australians and thatâs a real shame. They are missing out and sport as a whole is missing out.

"We want to make sure that people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can reap the lifelong health and social benefits of sport

"Many of our grassroots and elite sports are missing out on the new skills and greater participation rates that the involvement of people from diverse origins can bring.

"I want to see a multicultural sporting landscape that includes players, coaches, officials, administrators and supporters from different cultural origins."

The Australian Sports Commissionâs All Cultures program aims to lift low participation rates by providing advice to the Australian sporting sector about how to be more inclusive.

The new online resources include videos detailing existing multicultural sport programs and useful tips for clubs, coaches and officials. The website complements the All Cultures education programs and an Ambassador-led awareness program.

The Minister added "with Harmony Day on 21st March, now is the time for sporting groups across the nation to consider how they can better involve people from diverse cultural backgrounds."

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship is working closely with the Australian Sports Commission to promote the All Cultures resource to schools and community groups.

Brazilian-born Collingwood Football Club defender Harry O'Brien is one of several All Cultures Ambassadors and is passionate about getting people from all backgrounds involved in sport.

O'Brien concluded "football is a vehicle which helped me to integrate into Australian society. If we can all share in that sporting passion we can bring people together."

The launch event was also attended by local sporting heroes including The Ravens, a basketball team of women of African origin, and Duer Yoa, who came to Australia as a refugee from Sudan and is now a promising 5 kilometre and cross country athlete.





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