Osman Shihaby & Ahmed Ali
The Unity Cup started in 2008. It was initiated by the Federal Police, Victoria Police, the AFL multicultural program that includes Essendon, Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne football clubs.
The aim of the event is to bring communities together and to create relationships between the communities and the police, especially the youth. It is also for young kids to learn more about the AFL.
This year the Unity Cup, held on the 24th of March, was different compared to the past years; now there is music and BBQ as well as the football. It has also been expanded to involve Muslim, Jewish, South East Asian and Indigenous communities. Also, there were AFL teams from Perth, Sydney and Adelaide, which they competed that day. These different organisations attending the event gave out flyers and talked to people about the services they provide to communities in their own languages and in English as well.
The 2013 Unity Cup was very unique because the people who came to the event were not just watching the games but they got information from service providers too. The media were also there, including ABC and Channel 7, who interviewed the people and asking how they felt about the event. Because it was such a nice weather, people who attended the event, were very much enjoyed it.
A Sudanese AFL player, Majak Dow, was there too. He encouraged the young Africans to play the game and talking about his own experience.