In March 2016, Volleyball WA was asked by the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre in Mirrabooka, to coordinate a few volleyball clinics for a group of fifteen (15) girls from Afghan backgrounds (girls from Iranian backgrounds were also included). These girls desired to be more active, by playing one of their preferred sports prior to arriving to Australia. As part of the VWA Cultural Engagement Plan, and after consultation with the girls, a culturally appropriate program was coordinated for the group at the Inner City Beach venue for eight weeks. This helped to reduce barriers to enabling the girls to participate in volleyball. The name ‘Athletic Girls’ was chosen by the group to inspire girls from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds to participate in sports. Most of the girls were not born in Australia and they are grateful for the opportunities they now have, particularly living in a country where gender does not stop them from participating and being active in sport.
With the full support of the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors Inc. (ASeTTS) the ‘Athletic Girls’ were recently approved for the Department of Sport and Recreation Community Participation Funding Grant which will enable them to coordinate their own volleyball project titled “Future in our hands: An initiative to inspire girls from CaLD backgrounds to participate in sports”.
The project will encourage girls from CaLD backgrounds to have an active lifestyle, improve their skills and social network. This project will also help to build the capacity of the girls through participation in VWA coaching and refereeing courses. One of their major goals for 2016 is to enter a team to participate in the Alcohol. Think Again Country of Origin Social Competition on the 16th October. VWA will continue to support the ‘Athletic Girls’ throughout their journey.
The State government through the Department of Sport and Recreation is a major supporter of Volleyball WA and the Athletic Girls project in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.