02 May 2013

A foot ball

After a highly successful season in 2012, the University of South Australia will join forces with the Port Adelaide and Enfield City Council to deliver the Football United® program at Windsor Gardens Secondary College this month.

Research Fellow manager of the program at UniSA, Dr Edoardo Rosso says Football United® has delivered some fantastic experiences for more than 300 disadvantaged boys and girls aged 5 to 17 years since it began.

“For the kids who play and the mentors who support them to build both physical and psychological health and fitness the program is a winner. 

“We’re delighted this year to be working with the Port Adelaide Enfield Council through its Street Sports program which will be delivered at the Windsor Gardens Secondary College from May 8 and run until September 25,” Dr Rosso says. 

“The concept of Football United® is pretty simple. It employs the power of football to connect with young people and build community involvement, harmony, self-esteem and cross-cultural understanding.

“It is ‘the world game’ so it draws people from every cultural background and here in Adelaide our program has been a great icebreaker for children who have come here as refugees from many soccer loving nations.”

More than half of the young people involved in the program were once refugees and Dr Rosso says activity in sport not only enhances their development but gives families an entrée into socialising with others.

UniSA’s Football United® program has been running at six locations in Adelaide and Mt Gambier since it was established.

And 2012 was a bumper year for the program – it won a City of Playford Opal Award for supporting children and families to be active, the Sport South East Sports Star of the Year Award for Volunteer of the Year and UniSA’s own Chancellor’s Award for Community Engagement.

“The acknowledgement is great because it means the program is working,” Dr Rosso says.

“The real reward though is on the field in the faces of all the young people who are learning new skills and gaining confidence by taking on a new challenge.”

Developed at the University of New South Wales, UniSA is the first university to implement the Football United® vision and deliver the program interstate. 

This year UniSA’s Football United® will be run in collaboration with a range of organisations, including the City of Port Adelaide-Enfield, Australia Sports Commission, the Equal Opportunity Commission, Windsor Gardens Vocational College and Adelaide United FC among others.

You can see highlights of the program in action here.

UniSA Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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