Social isolation and disengagement fragments local communities. Football United aims to foster social inclusion and cohesion within areas with high refugee settlement and disadvantaged communities, through leadership, skills development, mentoring, and the creation of links with local community leaders and organisations.
Football United uses the magic of football to bring people together for the common goal of creating harmonious and cohesive societies. Football is an ideal tool to foster socialisation. It is relatively inexpensive, enjoys worldwide enthusiasm and is designed as a non-violent sport. It is played by both genders, thus is non-exclusive. It provides transferable skills of fair play, tolerance, inclusion and understanding of oneself, team mates and opponents alike. It teaches of responsibility, winning, losing and participation. It can address diverse and complex issues, such as children’s rights, peace building, education, health promotion and anti-discrimination. Most of all, however, it is fun.
The project “Bridging Cultures and Regions – A Multinational Youth Leadership Program” is one of Football Untied projects designed to provide leadership development and opportunities for up to 60 youth (20 per year) from Football for Social Development initiatives in Australia, Oceania and Asia.
Building on youth engagement processes that FUn specialises in, this project will connect, unite and engage youth to acquire and exchange skills through: Annual Youth Leaderships Development workshops focused on community development, communications, project coordination, fundraising and leadership skills to enhance personal development and practical skills they can apply to the grassroots initiatives they support; engaging FUn’s collaborative partnerships with the OFC, AFC, FFA, FIFA to ensure these young leaders will be connected to best practices and resources that are then applied in the countries and regions represented; facilitation, mentoring and monitoring of youth leaders as they engage with their own community activities in their home nation / region as project coordinators and leaders; and development and provision of supporting resources and online mentoring by FUn staff through the Football United® Online Resource World.
This project will provide development and training for up to 20 youth representing with 6 – 10 organisations across the Oceania and Asian Regions that use Football for Social Development. The social “need‟ will be different for each organisation though it is expected that this project will enable the individuals and their organisation to develop through engaging with other groups with similar goals, and facing the challenges of limited resources. Importantly developing the youths in Multinational and regional cohorts will have far reaching personal development outcomes for the participants with the empowerment reaching to the beneficiaries of their grassroots initiatives.
This project enables Football United® to reach beyond Australia, share its knowledge and experience and make significant contribution to fledgling or less experienced organisations using Football for Social Development in Oceania and Asia. It is the experience of Football United® that the youth are in most cases best placed to lead existing projects and should be empowered to become the future of the organisations they are involved with.
Football United has been received the awards for it initiatives in football for social development arena.
i) Inaugural Building Inclusive Communities Award, Macquarie University and National Ethnic Communities 2011
ii) Australian Sports Commission’s final list for 2010 Media Awards
iii) Australian Rights Commission’s 2010 Media Awards
iv) UNSW Community Engagement Award in 2010
v) UNSW Staff Excellent Award in 2009.