The Gillard Government and Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced a four month program that celebrates sport in multicultural Australia, incorporating Harmony Day on 21 March 2013.
The Harmony Through Football Program will feature football tournaments, clinics and school events, culminating in three harmony-themed A-League games in Sydney and Melbourne.
Minister for Sport and Multicultural Affairs Senator Kate Lundy made the announcement with Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop at Blacktown Football Club.
“Sport is a powerful unifier which brings together people from diverse backgrounds,” Senator Lundy said.
“This initiative shows football living up to its status as the world game – a universal language and passion.”
The Gillard Government contributed $50,000 to this initiative which will promote cultural diversity in Australian football.
Football Federation Australia has taken the lead in developing a strong multicultural agenda that reinforces the important role sport plays and the Gillard Government is pleased to provide $50,000 for this initiative.
Member for Chifley Ed Husic said Western Sydney is both the traditional home of Football in Australia and the State’s cultural melting pot.
“More than 50% of the players who’ve been Socceroos hailed from Western Sydney – so Football’s part of our region’s DNA,” Mr Husic said.
“Almost 38% of residents in the Blacktown LGA were born overseas putting this area well above the State average.
“For young people in particular, Football is a great way to meet people and develop the skills and networks to make a new life for themselves.”
More than 17,000 people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will participate in the program at more than 150 events.
A-League and W-League players will also show their support for harmony and cultural diversity, as Ambassadors for the program.
“I encourage people of all ages to look for opportunities to participate in the Harmony Through Football Program and celebrate sport’s contribution to Australian culture” Senator Lundy said.
For more details on the Harmony through Football program visit www.footballaustralia.com.au to find out more about Harmony Day visit www.harmony.gov.au