School is back and so is football!
Across Melbourne and especially the South East, City in the Community staff have resumed delivery of key community football programs in schools and the broader community. This includes the award winning ‘I Speak Football’ program which was developed to address the issue of social exclusion and isolation for young people newly arrived in Australia, using the global language of football as a way to connect.
Further, our Homework Clubs programs, aimed at supporting students to bounce back from lockdowns and improve their learning at schools through extra tuition with some physical activity after school, have also returned stronger than ever in 2022.
Nick Schmull, CITC’s Social Inclusion Coordinator, was pumped to be back and welcomed interaction with the local community.
“The young people just love the connection to the Club and it means so much to them to be included,” Nick said.
“Many cannot afford to play in mainstream pathways but find our I Speak Football program helps them build their confidence, improve their skills and help them feel like they belong, as many are settling to a new life in Australia.”
Hamid, one of the young participants, was also excited to be back.
“I really like the I Speak Football program because it gives me a chance to play football each week with my friends and I have been able to improve my football skills and become a fan of Melbourne City,” he said.
CITC’S community football programs are also delivered by Young Leaders who have undertaken the foundation’s leadership training, which prepares them to be coaches and mentors in the community.
One such Young Leader is Kay, who loves delivering football sessions at his old school Narre Warren P-12. Whilst currently studying Law at university, he finds time to come and inspire many of the kids who like himself are from an Afghan Background.
‘I want to give back and encourage the kids to be healthy, active and do their best at school,” Kay said, “It is not easy settling into a new country and especially a new school.”