- Published: Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:27
Soccer is proving to be a great unifier for refugees, people seeking refugee status and Australian communities.
Refugees and people claiming asylum who are supported by Settlement Services International (SSI) were joined by Knox Grammar School alumni on the weekend to take part in a soccer knock-out competition.
SSI is a leading not-for-profit organisation providing a range of services in the areas of humanitarian settlement, accommodation, asylum seeker assistance and multicultural foster care in NSW.
About 40 people took part in the knock-out soccer competition at Lidcombe between teams of five, which was organised by SSI staff on Saturday, February 15.
Also taking part in the competition were about six members of the Knox Grammar Old Boys alumni.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the former Knox Grammar students had asked her organisation how they could support new arrivals.
“It was very inspiring to see how proactive the boys from Knox Grammar School were in wanting to support people who have come to Australia from very difficult circumstances,” Ms Roumeliotis said.
“One of the school’s alumni, Marco van Westing, approached SSI and asked how he and his friends could help refugees, and those people applying for refugee status, make the transition to living in Australia.
“When staff at SSI proposed a soccer competition for our clients, the Knox Grammar Old Boys thought it was a great opportunity for them to get involved.