North Melbourne Street Soccer Program Inclusion Workshop

After the prison workshop, we headed to George’s Big Issue Street Soccer Programme at the North Melbourne Community Center. This programme focuses on the reintegration of former prisoners into society and also works with diverse nationalities who have migrated and settled in this community.

There was a large group of participants, mostly adults, who were ready to go. They happily welcomed us into their community programming and we excitedly introduced ourselves and The Ball and split them up into small sided teams. Participants included intellectually as well as physiclaly handicaped players, even one wheelchair bound individual.

Once we all took the pitch, it was clear that SoF’s FairPlay football was going to provide a challenge as it is such a different way of playing compared to what they are used to. Footballers have the inherent urge to dribble. Having listened to their frustrations, we explained there are always solutions, we just need to look around and be more present in the moment.

FairPlay football is a brilliant way to engage people and create awareness of the very real challenges facing us humans all over the world, and especially regarding climate change and gender equality. What is more, football can help us to make the world a better place and we can all implement small, simple solutions in our daily lives to make a difference.

Photos by Hamish Appleby:


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