Community Soccer Hub

Partner Profile
 

The Community Soccer Hub Inc. aims to provide a welcoming place for new and emerging communities to play soccer and connect with each other.  

 

Soccer for All
Jan 2018 - Dec 2019

The City of Brimbank’s population is young and culturally diverse, with 43% of the community born in another country and more than a third being under the age of 24.* Soccer has been shown to unite these communities in a remarkable way.

In Nelson Mandela’s words, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.”

With such a diverse population, it’s important for the Brimbank City Council to consider the complexities of migration and resettlement in a new country; complexities that extend to language differences, discrimination and racism.

In 2014, after working in partnership with key community stakeholders and groups, the council developed the Community Soccer Hub (the Hub).

It was an initiative they hoped would encourage young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to become involved in sport, an activity that holds a powerful place in Australian culture, particularly in Melbourne.

The council focused on soccer or ‘football’ because of its popularity among newly arrived populations who want to begin or continue their football journey.^

The Hub experienced huge success, largely due to community leaders garnering broad support from diverse cultural groups who leveraged the program to upskill in coaching, mentoring, governance and advocacy.#

The Hub’s rapid growth required more resourcing, and while there’s high demand for soccer in the area, playing at the local level was expensive.

The Soccer for All project aims to increase community connectedness and support civic engagement through volunteering for new and emerging communities in Brimbank.

The key focus areas of the project are:

  • Building community capacity through engagement and upskilling of volunteers
  • Reducing barriers to participation
  • Fostering community connectedness

With support from the LUCRF Super Community Program, the Hub has continued to provide the welcoming, inclusive space and materials needed for Brimbank residents to meet, connect and enjoy social and competitive opportunities, playing a sport that they love.

The project is tracking well with great success to date:

  • The Hub has delivered two Summer 7s leagues. The programs ran over a 14-week period and engaged over 200 young people, as well as mentoring five young people in leadership capacity to deliver and coordinate the program.
  • The Hub achieved a two-star rating with Football Victoria, which is notably high given the Hub’s small selection of Football Victoria specific programs at this time.
  • A partnership has been formed with Park Soccer for ball supply, resulting in over 100 soccer balls being donated as well as a supply of goal keeper gloves.
  • Young people are being trained and supported to undertake coaching - 19 coaches have now successfully completed a Game Training Certificate – a coaching course facilitated by Football Victoria. Eight referees have completed the Green Shirt Referee Course facilitated by Football Victoria. This will provide casual employment opportunities for participants.

 

Player to coach

Chris has been a player at the Hub for more than two years. He’s now shifted his focus to coaching as he’s had an interest in this area for some time. The Juniors Program Officer worked with Chris to identify his long-term goals and determine out how the Hub could help him achieve them.

Chris became coach for the U10s and leads training sessions every Thursday as well as game-day activities. He’s also being mentored and coached by Tyrone James, a former English Premier League player and now academy coach, on aspects of technical coaching, player development and other foundational skills.

Reports received from parents and committee members are that Chris has done a superb job in maintaining a fun and engaging learning environment for the kids.

Next steps

  • More coaches and volunteers to be recruited across multiple disciplines.
  • A female only, female-led football program to be developed.
  • Further equipment to be purchased, including foldable goals.
  • An event to further attract new communities to access the Hub and neighbouring services to be planned.

community soccer hub

*Victorian State Government 2016, Victorian State Government, Melbourne, viewed 8 March 2018 http://knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au/councils/brimbank

^ Nathan, S., Bunde-Birouste, A., Evers, C., Kemp, L., MacKenzie, J., & Henley, R. (2010). Social cohesion through football: A quasi-experimental mixed methods design to evaluate a complex health promotion program. Public Health, 10, 587-599.

#Centre for Multicultural Youth. (2010). Giving communities a sporting chance: A multicultural resource kit. Melbourne: CMY.

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