Community Soccer Hub

Soccer for All project - Kicking goals for community 

The City of Brimbank’s population is young and culturally diverse. 43% of the community were born in another country and more than a third are under the age of 24.* 

Naturally, it’s been important for the 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 Brimbank City Council developed the Community Soccer Hub.

It was an initiative they hoped would get young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds 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 would then leverage the program to upskill in coaching, mentoring, governance and advocacy.#

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

The Hub is eager to scale-up into an established, sustainable program. With support from the LUCRF Super Community Program, the Hub continues to provide the welcoming, inclusive space and materials needed for Brimbank residents to meet, connect and enjoy social and competitive opportunities, playing the sport that they love.

The Soccer for All project is tracking well, with the development of a volunteer framework. Young people are being trained, mentored and supported to undertake coaching, while others are leading the delivery and coordination of programs for the Hub.

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. We understand that he intends to participate in coaching/referee courses through Football Federation Victoria when they become available via the Hub.

Community connections

Thomas is a Hub community ambassador; a role established as part of the program, to recognise the special role community connectors play in making it easier for individuals and groups to access the Hub. The role is voluntary and relies on the strengths and connections of individuals to their communities. 

Thomas has coordinated and worked with group representatives to establish the new Communities League. The Communities League runs regular weekend games for groups who are not able to access mainstream competitions or just want to play socially.

The Hub’s Communities League has eight teams each made up of between 15-20 players. These players, who otherwise would not be playing, are now regularly turning up for weekend games and training at least once a week to keep fit, healthy and connected.

Two referees, sourced from local new and emerging communities, have been recruited to referee the games. Three rounds have been played so far and the enthusiasm is infectious.

We wish the Community Soccer Hub the very best in sporting luck and look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

community soccer hub

*Victorian State Government 2016, Victorian State Government, Melbourne, viewed 8 March 2018

^ 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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