Sunday 24th March 2019 heralds the launch Football NSW newest affiliated local competition the Multicultural Futsal Series (M-Series), to be hosted at the King George Recreation Centre at the iconic Rocks in Sydney’s CBD.
The M-Series Harmony Round is about Celebrating Diversity, Strengthening Social Cohesion and Connecting Communities to play the World Game Down Under.
This landmark project will see the hosting of eight one day tournaments over the course of a year that align to key dates in the City of Sydney’s social and cultural calendar, including, Youth Week, Refugee Week and NAIDOC Week.
A key objective in this multi-faceted project is to provide a platform for newly arrived migrants, their families and communities to build social capital through participating in futsal and football-oriented activities and competitions.
The project is the brainchild of Jarrod Galbraith-Marten, who in consultation with many community leaders, organisations, supporter agencies and individual members from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural groups, identified a need to develop a model of community engagement.
The aim was also to enable groups to enter an environment where they can participate in a sport that they enjoy, celebrate their cultural identity and forge lifelong friendships with members of other ethnic, religious and cultural groups.
An overarching goal of the M-Series is to make newly arrived migrant communities, especially those from refugee backgrounds, feel welcome in Australia and contribute to their integration into society.
It is by no coincidence that the ‘M-Series’ takes place at one of Australia’s most iconic locations.
The King George V Recreation Centre sits at the feet of The Sydney Harbour Bridge and a stone’s throw from Circular Quay.
The ‘M-Series’ will provide participants the opportunity to use the King George V Recreation Centre as their community hub and gateway to explore and enjoy the best of what Sydney has to offer.
The project serves as an example of meaningful collaboration between key stakeholder groups including the state governing body for football and futsal (Football NSW), a professional football club (Western Sydney Wanderers F.C), a local government authority (City of Sydney), a specialist not-for profit organisation, NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) a NSW government healthcare service provider (Sydney Local Health District) and an Australian youth charity (Fair Game).
The M-Series collaborators had this to say about their involvement and support of the ‘M-Series’.
Galbraith-Marten stated his excitement in being involved with such a Series.
‘I feel deeply honoured and privileged to be involved in such a momentous project as the M-Series.
“I strongly believe it will be hugely beneficial to the communities and sponsor organisations that engage in the project.
“I see the project as more of a process, a process that will continue to evolve and grow beyond its original scope. My sincere hope is that at some point in the not so distant future complete ownership of the ‘Multicultural Futsal Series’ can be transferred to the communities that it seeks to serve.”
Sydney’s Chair for Fair Game Australia Nathan Stone echoed Galbraith-Marten’s thoughts.
‘The M-Series provides an environment of inclusion and acceptance while allowing access to health and education services for Sydney’s newest Australians.
“Fair Game Australia is grateful to be involved with an opportunity that brings these communities together and can expand each groups capacity.”
The first round of the tournament series will be held during the City of Sydney’s Harmony Week on Sunday 24th March 2019.
For this first tournament teams will consist members from Afghan Hazara, Tibetan, Burmese Rohingya, Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian and African communities.
Scheduled future rounds include: Youth Week (14th April), Refugee Week (16th June), and NAIDOC Week (7th July).