Welcome to the first newsletter for the Count Me In project!
Count Me In!
Newsletter 1, December, 2016
“I don’t think there is one that has not had a smile on their face – parents and the kids – when they’ve come in and they’re participating!” (Coach)
Count Me In is a project that is helping more migrant and refugee background young people and their families participate in local sports clubs and organisations. We know regular physical activity, improves physical and mental health and taking part in organised sport also provides opportunities to build life skills along with connections to others and to the local community.
Many clubs are keen to include as many people as they can but families who are new to Australia may still face difficulties finding and joining a local club. The Count Me In team has formed partnerships with clubs in the Moreland and Hume areas and our Community Support Coordinator - Sarwat Nauman - has been reaching out and assisting families to find, join and participate in clubs that suit their needs.
2016 has been a busy year! Within the first four months of the project rolling out to local clubs in the Moreland and Hume local government areas more than 150 children aged 5 to 16 have begun playing Netball, Cricket and Futsal.
The Count Me In project was started by the University of Melbourne and was soon joined by Merri Health and other partners! The clubs below already have children and young people participating in the Count Me In project:
Hadfield Netball Club
Pascoe Vale Hadfield Cricket Club
Haig Fawkner Cricket Club
Soccer Rising Stars
Coburg Little Athletics
Hadfield Football Club is ready to join our group when training starts in February and we hope to add Soccer and Basketball clubs to this list soon as well.
We have an enthusiastic group of partners on our advisory committee who have been meeting regularly since the beginning of 2016 to develop the project. These include Merri Health, Moreland City Council, Fawkner Primary School, YMCA, Arabic Welfare, Netball Victoria, Carlton Football Club, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Victorian Arabic Social Services, Brunswick Zebras and AFL Victoria. New members are welcome here too!
Research and Evaluation
An important aim of Count Me In is to produce evidence for better ways to support sports participation for migrant and refugee young people as well as for its benefits. Most of the Count Me In participants have already completed surveys and the research team from the University of Melbourne have started interviewing club members. More interviews and focus groups with participating children and their families will be conducted early in 2017 and we will keep you informed about our findings. We are currently seeking additional funding to extend the project to more areas and sports next year.
We have collaborated with Badminton Victoria to offer weekly Women’s Only Badminton at the Fawkner Leisure Centre starting in February – stay tuned for further details!
Thank you to all the clubs and families that have participated in Count Me In so far!
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Dr Karen Block and Dana Young, The University of Melbourne &
Sarwat Nauman, Merri Health