Sixth Anniversary of the Unity Cup

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.

Majak Dow with all girls team at the Unity Cup

Majak Dow with all girls team at the Unity Cup

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.

Unity Cup 2013 winners from Sydney

Unity Cup 2013 winners from Sydney

TIGERS RETURNED WITH VICTORY

By Dhieu 

Mach: picture by Ayuen

Western Tigers FC marked their long awaited return to the Football Federation’s Metropolitan League with a five nil victory over bottom club Keon Park FC on Saturday afternoon at Keon Park ground.

Goals from Taban Acuoth, Malong, Gum and a brace from Mathiang were enough for the Tigers to registered an easy victory over struggling Keon Park FC.

How London Olympics have inspired Africans Australia to participate in sport

By  Thokgor Reech & Akech Manyangdit’s Yangdit, reporters at Sudanese Australian Voices (SAV)

African-Australians are looking for ways to represent Australia at the next Olympics in Brazil in 2016.

Sudanese community elder Mr Abraham Don says, that Africans in Australia can learn from their British counterparts and encourage greater participation in sport within their community.

Mo Farah from Somalia

“Luol Deng from South Sudan and Mo Farah from Somalia have created a good image for Africans in Great Britain and our kids can learn from that. Our kids need to contribute to Australia as a way of saying thanks to the nation that helped us settle here,” says Mr Don.

African-Australian kids are ready to take on this challenge according to Mr Don. “Our kids are getting involved in footy, marathon running, volleyball, basketball and soccer and looking to develop their skills so they have a shot at the next Olympics and World Cup,” explained Mr Don.

Fifteen-year-old Jacob Bol, is already leading the charge by training in AFL football and hopes he can play at a professional level one day. He says he also has aspirations to represent Australia in running at an Olympic level.

“Sport is something I like and most sports is fun and exercise can keep me healthy. It could help me to get a professional job too,” says Jacob.

Mr Angelo Tat, president of the Sudanese Luacjang Group of Australia, says it is important to support our children so that they can excel in sport. The proud father says, his own son has won two school competitions already and will compete in three more competitions.

With an abundance of media reports focusing on young Africans in trouble with the law, community leaders agree that motivating youth to participate in sport will create positive news stories. They also believe that engaging in sport will reduce current problems between African-Australian youth and the police created by high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities.

“Sport could be the key solution to this huge community problem by motivating our kids to keep busy and stay physically and mentally fit,’ says Mr Don.

However while African-Australian youth have shown an interest in sport they don’t always receive encouragement from local Australian sporting clubs, says Mr Don.

With many young African-Australians coming from communities that play soccer and basketball, there seems to be limited opportunities to get involved in sporting activities such as Australian Rules Football, he adds.

“We have so many talented youth with athletic gifts, but their talents aren’t being recognised due to the complex cultural differences of African-Australians and their approach to sport,” continues Mr Don.

However despite the complexities surrounding African-Australians involvement in sport in Australia, community elders hope that the next generation will be inspired by the likes of Mo Farah and represent Australia in future Olympics.

Late Drama at Essex Road

By Dhieu

Western Tigers came from three goals down to draw three-three at Essex road ground with Nile stars, in a thrilling friendly encounter two weeks ago.

 In a rain soaked pitch, the Tigers took to the field looking to rectify recent poor results in what is fast turning to be their worst year since 2007. But that hope was quickly dashed as Tigers defence completely collapsed allowing Nile Stars’s main striker to give the visitors a deserved lead. Minutes later the same player was given another opportunity to score and blasted his shot inside the crossbar with the keeper well beaten.

Two minutes later, the visitor struck again, but the goal was disallowed.

From then on it was one way traffic and the Tigers were pinned back and completely seemed out of ideas. Deng Amol and a few Tigers players were simply lucky to be on the field following a series of rushed and dangerous tackles. The Tigers best chance fell to David Mayor who turned his marker in and out before unleashing a shot which the keeper punched for the corner.

Then midway into the first half, a disaster struck.  One Nile Stars player just walked through the Tigers backline and coolly placed the ball past the helpless goal keeper. Then in the dying stages of the first half, a poor clearance from veteran right full back allowed a Nile Stars midfielder to unleash a low unstoppable shot in to the back of the net, and the visitors were only two goals away from equalling their last tally when they thrashed Tigers 5.2 at the same ground four months ago.

The second half started in the same way, with the visitors easily exposing the fragile Tigers central defence. With barely thirty minutes to go, the Tigers made numerous changes with Gum coming on for Deng Butic and he quickly changed the match.

On the 65th minute, he combined well with Makoi to open the scoring. Ten minutes later he timed a well placed pass from David and fired it past the helpless keeper. Then with six minutes to go, the Tigers were awarded a controversial penalty when Gum easily went to ground inside the penalty box, and the referee point to the spot and Gum scored from the resulting penalty to score his first competitive hat-trick for the Western Tigers.

The score was 3-3 when the visitors had the chance to score the winning goal, but failed to take the chance.