Funding from the Office of Multicultural Interests has helped Football West’s Inclusive Development Officer Elmi Ali to establish a number of community-driven initiatives throughout Western Australia.
Ali recently coordinated an off-season Communities Cup competition for footballers of all cultures and skill levels.
The competition, held at Mills Park in Beckenham, involved teams representing China, Turkey, Liberia, Cameroon and Somalia, who won the Cup.
Six teams took part in the competition, which was supported by the Organisation of African Communities.
The Cup also had an educational focus with a number of players from each team invited to participate in education sessions about coaching, refereeing and Football West competitions and programs.
The sessions were also attended by Office of Multicultural Interests Inclusions Officer Bernadette Masbayi, Department of Sport and Recreation Inclusions Officer Julie Jackson, Communities Cup teams officials, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse clubs, and Football West staff.
A number of Communities Cup participants attended the education sessions where Football West’s Member Services and Development staff provided information regarding refereeing, coaching and governance of football clubs.
Football West Development Officer Garry Church explains the importance of coach education at a Communities Cup education workshop.
Ali has also embarked on the redevelopment of a regional football program 277km south-east of Perth. The Shire of Katanning is the most diverse shire in WA, featuring some 50 language groups among the 4,500 residents.
Ali will re-establish inclusive participation projects, including help in starting a football club in the town.
“There’s nothing more appealing to me than to see communities thrive through sporting activities,” Ali said.
“It’s great for me to get the opportunity to work for Football West and to help as much as I can to support schools, clubs and the wider community.
“We know there are programs that have been started in communities that have stalled for one reason or another. I’m really looking forward to helping bring some of these programs back to life and kick-starting new programs in the regions and across the metropolitan area.
“Katanning is a perfect place to revitalise the football club.”
Ali has held a community consultation session to assess an opportunity to re-establish the inactive Katanning Association Football club.
However, there have been difficulties engaging volunteers to make up the five-person committee due to the town’s transient population.
Shire of Katanning Club Development Officer Tania Wolfe is planning an Annual General Meeting over the coming months to further discuss the proposal.
Even without a new committee structure, Ali will run an alternative program for new participants to enjoy a relaxed introduction to football without the formality of joining a club.
The program will allow students and young adults to participate and get a feel for playing football in a team environment whilst parents become accustomed to the game.
Ali has previously worked with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups and inactive youth and has extensive knowledge of inclusive participation. He has also established the Beckenham Rangers Soccer Club in Beckenham, which focuses its culture on inclusion support, resulting in high participation levels.
He is also involved in the Common Goal Program, which runs every Monday and Thursday at Queens Park Primary School and Fragrant Gardens, Mirrabooka, and is currently working on initiatives including the Women’s World Cup and an All-Abilities Competition.
For further information on these programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.