MORE than 100 students from the Intensive English Centre (IEC) at Melville Senior High School were introduced to Aussie Rules as part of the WA Football Commission’s (WAFC) multicultural football program.
Students aged 12 to 16 took part in the three-week program, which uses football as a vehicle to strengthen social acceptance, understanding and inclusion in local school communities.
Head of the IEC and multicultural football program manager Taziana Leunig said inclusivity played a key role in the students’ development.
“All the students have completely embraced the sport,” Mrs Leunig said.
“They have learnt of the importance of teamwork and more about the Australian culture.”
At the conclusion of the program four students registered to play at their local junior football clubs, including Juan Miguel Papio.
“I joined Kardinya Junior Football Club because I am really passionate about football,” Juan said.
“I love it because you learn a lot of difficult skills, like bouncing the ball every 15 steps.”
Mrs Leunig said the program had been a resounding success.
“This is only the beginning of something that will benefit our students, their families, the local community and the game itself,” she said.
“It is a really proud moment for the students who all have high hopes and dreams of someday playing in the AFL.”