Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke will officially launch the City’s new Building Culturally Inclusive Sporting Clubs and Programs booklet on Thursday February 20.
The booklet showcases success stories from local sporting clubs and organisations who have been proactive in supporting cultural diversity and inclusion in Greater Bendigo. It was also created to showcase Greater Bendigo as a welcoming, safe and inclusive place to live and to support positive role-modelling and stories to other sporting clubs and organisations to inspire them to undertake their own inclusion projects.
City of Greater Bendigo Community Partnerships Manager Steven Abbott said sport is much more than a leisure activity for many people from multicultural backgrounds.
“It’s an opportunity to belong and feel safe – a chance to heal, develop and grow,” Mr Abbott said.
“Sport provides opportunities for empowering people, strengthening social connection and promoting intercultural interactions.
“It is vital for communities to offer authentic and sustainable opportunities for people from culturally diverse communities so they can get involved, gain confidence and become sporting leaders through education and development.
“Promoting cultural diversity in sporting clubs and organisations also benefits players and committees, increases membership and volunteering and promotes intercultural interaction.
“The City believes the stories featured in the booklet will inspire even more sporting clubs and recreation facilities to think about the way they can be supportive of cultural diversity and inclusion.”
The booklet is an initiative of the City of Greater Bendigo’s Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan Sports Action Group.
Member of the Sports Action Group and Sports Focus Program Manager, Shelley Mulqueen said the booklet showcases the great work of local clubs and members in making different cultural groups feel welcome at their facility or in their team.
“It also shows how our existing facilities can be used by different cultural groups for sports and entertainment,” Ms Mulqueen said.
“The City’s Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan’s Sports Action Group hopes that the booklet will showcase just how simple it can be for sporting clubs to welcome and include people from multicultural backgrounds.
“I hope these stories will inspire other sporting clubs to continue on their inclusion journey because all sporting clubs should be a reflection of everyone within their community.
“Whether it be cricket, soccer, swimming, tennis or futsal, it’s crucial that we work to ensure our clubs and facilities consider the benefits of greater cultural inclusion. This helps different cultural communities to feel more welcome to Greater Bendigo and increases the opportunity to gain new players or volunteers to support clubs.”
Copies of the booklet are available to collect at the City’s Hopetoun Mill reception desk, in Hopetoun Street, until March 31. The booklet is also available online at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au