By SANFL Media
SANFL is honoured to win a prestigious 2019 Governor’s Multicultural Award in recognition of its multicultural football programs, including the highly successful ‘Welcome to Aussie Rules Football’.
SANFL won the private sector category in the awards, announced by His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia. The awards celebrate South Australian individuals and organisations who promote multiculturalism and increase the understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity in our community.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Jake Parkinson said he was extremely proud of SANFL’s multicultural programs which were expanded in 2019 to provide greater opportunities to promote culturally diverse communities across the State.
“Our goal has been to give as many multicultural South Australians as possible an opportunity to experience and participate in our national game, which was a foreign sport to many,” Mr Parkinson said.
“We have been particularly proud in breaking down these barriers through the Welcome to Australian Rules Football program which was rolled out across 12 club-based centres and schools in 2019.
“This has provided children and parents with an opportunity to learn the skills and rules of our game, giving them the confidence to take the next step into AFL Auskick or the SANFL Juniors competition.”
“Furthermore, SANFL’s Multicultural Coaching Academy and Football Education sessions for parents and friends has educated many families about our game, along with providing volunteer and even employment opportunities in football.”
Another highlight of SANFL’s multicultural programs is the annual Iftar Dinner at Adelaide Oval which helps to create awareness and educate the broader footy community about the importance and relevance of Ramadan in the Muslim community.
“Iftar is a great opportunity for SANFL to showcase Australian football and educate people of all cultures, while embracing their faith and cultural traditions in a way that is familiar to them,” Mr Parkinson said.
The inaugural SANFL Nations Cup Festival in 2019 saw hundreds of participants and spectators representing various multicultural communities come together for a carnival of footy matches, cultural performances and food in the Adelaide Park Lands.
SANFL’s Multicultural Round also is held annually, with Sturt Football Club staging a highly successful multicultural festival and match day at Peter Motley Oval in round 8 of the 2019 SANFL Statewide Super League.
The day attracted a 10 per cent increase in spectators from various multicultural communities, while the men’s League match was played with the first multicultural Burley football, designed by Arman Abrahimzadeh OAM.