Newington Gunners team mates arrived at the Asian Cup final between Australia and South Korea short of breath and sweating, having run from the station so as to not miss a minute.
The team had just finished playing its own soccer game on Saturday, January 31, in the South Asia Cup final and had to scramble to make the big event at Stadium Australia.
The Newington Gunners coach and most of the players are SSI clients; most are on bridging visas and awaiting the outcome of their application for refugee status.
They were part of the 50 strong contingent of SSI clients who wore green and gold and proudly waved the Australian flag as they watched the Socceroos make history by winning the Asian Cup.
“I love soccer and went to a game in Canberra, but I could never have afforded to attend this final,” said SSI client Moslem.
“I am very happy to be here and share this special event.”
Tickets to the Asian Cup final were generously gifted to SSI by Multicultural NSW.
Multicultural NSW CEO Hakan Harman said that ticket distribution priority was given to those that would ordinarily not be able to attend such an event.
“Multicultural NSW is pleased that SSI agreed to participate and will continue to advocate for all members of our multicultural community to attend international world class events,” Mr Harman said.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said the tickets provided an opportunity for SSI clients to be a part of a collective experience.
“Many of our clients can’t work due to visa restrictions and can therefore experience isolation due to not having the extra funds to travel or to socialise,” said Ms Roumeliotis.
“As we have seen the in the past, sport is a great unifier of culture but also a wonderful social activity where a common goal is shared.”