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Playing with Refugee Young People: Sport as Social Development

Community Development Evening Presentation held on 18 March 2015

Click below to watch the recordings.

Playing for Change: Football United

Dr Anne Bunde-Birouste

In recent years there has been an increase in programs that use sport to foster social development and engagement; however research has been lacking to demonstrate these outcomes. The Football United program was developed from a vision that people’s love of football can be used to build opportunities for belonging, racial harmony and community cohesion. Results of Football United’s research study and other work that underline its positive impact on young people’ sense of self, and appreciation for and engagement with peers from diverse backgrounds will be presented. These results confirm the Crawford report that found that gaps in community and public education sector sport can contribute to general disaffection within society, including leaving school, aggressive behaviour and unemployment. The lack of opportunity to interact across cultural groups can translate into racism and the ensuing problems it provokes.

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Sporting Linx: A Tool for Social Inclusion

Shaun Nemorin

Sporting Linx is a program designed by STARTTS that was established in 2013 in schools across Western Sydney. It is a skills-based program that uses sports as a tool to enhance inclusivity and increase self esteem. Targeting both students from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds alike, it adopts sports coaching sessions from industry professionals to enhance sporting outcomes with specific attention placed on fostering teamwork and sportsmanship, while also encouraging participants to improve connection and identify leadership potential. Through sports and fun group activities, STARTTS has been able to address self-esteem amongst young people, communication, sharing and support; all essential elements in building social capital. This paper explained how this program achieves the intended outcomes such as increasing the participant’s ability to make healthy lifestyle choices that improve well being and empowering individuals to pursue personal and community goals.

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