An ongoing inter-school sports competition encourages newly arrived migrants to play organised sport and supports positive peer interaction.
The Western Bulldogs have teamed up with WELS (Western English Learning Schools), a school that provides intensive English training for primary and secondary school aged refugees and migrants when they arrive in Australia.
Newly arrived migrant and refugee children are entitled to 6-12 months of intensive English language learning at the WELS specialised teaching facilities before they enter mainstream primary and secondary schools.
The students’ English skills vary from very low to good, but all of them are learning about Australian school structures and dynamics.
Many of the students have encountered inconsistent schooling due to conflict in their home countries. A great deal are participating in structured sports for the first time through the WELS-Bulldogs Sports Program.
Program organiser Kiemi Lai told The Newsroom, “We want to help newly arrived refugees and migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds to develop life skills and values that will enable them to successfully settle in Australia.”
The program uses sport as the vehicle to develop self-reliance among newly arrived refugees and migrants by improving health and wellbeing, English proficiency and connections to their local community. – Iman Kamareldin
Photo taken by Iman Kamareldin.