Western Bulldogs and Softball Australia collaborating to improve health, well-being and social connection of young people from migrant and refugee communities…
Through a partnership between the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation and Softball Australia, softball is being delivered as part of the CALDplay sports program for the first time since the program’s conception in 2007.
Over the next four weeks, approximately 200 migrant and refugee young people from English Learning Centres across the western region – including Wyndham Community Education Centre, Community Plus in Deer Park, Community Hub in St Albans, Yarraville Community Centre, Werribee VU and Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services in Sunshine – will take part in the pilot softball program.
Western Bulldogs Community Foundation staff members Hamza Ali and Amy Vy will deliver the program, alongside program adaptors and SEDA students, after completing a Softball Community Course delivered by Softball Australia.
The program aims to build trust and awareness between participants, while endorsing the understanding, appreciation and skills of softball. Through social cohesion, students are able to learn English in a practical setting, while building self-confidence skills to encourage participation in sport outside of the program and school hours.
During the first week of the practical sessions, participants transitioned from throwing and catching activities to batting off a tee. One participant ‘Mimi’ was thrilled to catch with a softball glove for the first time.
On Thursday 6 September, each centre will come together at the Werribee Softball Association for the Softball Gala, where participants will put their newly acquired softball skills to practise in a round robin Social 7s softball carnival. Many participants have shared their excitement about the day and are also looking forward to introducing their family and friends to softball once the program ends, through a Social 7s competition that the Werribee Softball Association plan to establish for the community on Sundays.