Southern Districts Soccer Football Association secretary Gino Marra said the ALDI Multicultural MiniRoos Football Program is proof that football is more than just kicking a ball into the back of a net.
Launched last week, the free six-week program is designed for newly arrived refugees to learn the basics of football and will begin on February 9 at two hubs: Knight Park, Yennora and Stanwell Oval, Ashcroft.
The one-hour skill sessions are for boys and girls aged 4 to 9 and begin at 5.30pm.
“We want to make the world game the path that helps refugees assimilate into Australian society,” Mara said.
“We have worked closely with immigrant and refugee groups in the area to ensure we spread the word but we encourage everyone to come and learn the basics of a great game and meet new friends.”
But that’s just the beginning.
Mara’s vision is while the kids are having fun and learning how to kick a ball, the parents can be inside a classroom learning how to read and write English.
“We are going to request funds from the state government because we think it would be great if the parents can learn English and even how to apply for a tax file number while the kids play on the field,” he said.
The program is a joint initiative between the Southern Districts Soccer Football Association, Football NSW and Football Federation of Australia.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC players Jada Whyman, Suzie Phonsongkham and Brendan Hamill were present for the launch which was attended by Iraqi, South Sudanese, and Nepalese refugees.
The plan is to roll the program out for young kids district-wide to learn the basics of football.