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Refugee goals

Refugee goals BELONGING: SydWest Multicultural Services and Western Sydney Wanderers ran a training session for refugee and migrant youth at Loyola Senior High School last week.
Nanjing Night Net

TweetFacebook Western Sydney Wanderers training sessionPictures: Western Sydney WanderersRefugeeyouth are lacing up their boots to find their feet in a new country.

SydWest Multicultural Services launched a soccer program in Februaryfor young people who have been in Australia less than five years. Theweekly gamesquickly grew from eight peopleto 30, with playersfromIran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and South Sudan.

“Ireally like the passionand the energy the youth have,” youth worker Aaron Piercy said.

“We have a lot of kids who’ve just arrived very recentlywho are learning English at a beginners level.

“We find straight away they’re making friends. You don’t necessarily need English when football is a universal language.”

Mr Piercy said the program helps SydWest connect young people with other services, including education and employment. They are currently looking for more local businesses who can offer work opportunities.

One big name throwing its support behind the initiativeis the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Mr Piercy said the club went “above and beyond” by offering torunquarterly training sessions with professional coaches.

Wanderers community engagement officer Josh Huntersaid programs like this are “very important” to get involved in.

“One of our main objectives at the Wanderers is to use football to connect with refugees and migrants and help them integrate into the new community,” he said.

The community coaches ran their second training session last week, ahead of the ‘Dezire Cup’ Multicultural Football Competition on October 1.

SydWest will be entering two teams in the fourth annual seven-a-side tournamentat Lilys Football Centre.

The youth playatKevin Betts Stadium, Mount Druitt, every Thursday afternoon.

Due to popular demand they have also just started running Saturday sessions at Campbell Reserve, Blacktown, in cooperation with Football United.


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