Jesmond FC lead the way on welcoming refugees

Jesmond Football Club will use NSW Football Legacy Fund funding to help refugee children play football in 2023.

Sue Woodward, Jesmond Football Club Secretary, is heartened by what the money will achieve within Newcastle’s refugee community. 

“With the money we have received from the NSW Football Legacy Fund we can cover the cost of 30 newly arrived refugee children. That will pay for their registration and their uniforms. It will get them on the football field and cover the cost of boots,” Woodward said. 

Jesmond supporting a vibrant refugee community 

Over the past decade Jesmond has become known for its positive welcoming of newly arrived families. With the help of local community organizations, Jesmond FC has been able to play a role welcoming refugee families into Australian life. 

Sue Woodward explains “Jesmond is a unique community, over the last 10 to 12 years it has become a refugee hub in Newcastle. We noticed a lot of kids when they first arrived, they couldn’t speak much English, but they were coming down to watch our kids train and practice.

We thought how better to make this happen then get them on the field playing with our kids. We found it worked perfectly. By the end of the year they were speaking fluent English and they’d integrated into society perfectly here, so we thought the program was worth running and it has been for the last 12 years.”

Turning parents into volunteers  

Jesmond FC will also use funds from the Legacy Fund to provide opportunities for refugee parents to volunteer at the club.

“We will spend money on coaching courses to get parents involved. They are interested in learning about coaching and refereeing, which is fantastic because it's about education and the more we can educate parents on how soccer works in Australia the more willing they are to get involved.

It’s a massive role having parents come down. We are a volunteer run club, without parents putting their hands up to help the game just doesn’t happen so it’s super important to educate the parents about how it works,” Woodward concluded. 

About the Legacy Fund Participation and Infrastructure Grants 

The NSW Government recently announced a $3.1 million investment into more than 100 grassroots football projects across the state to help improve facilities and run programs to boost player participation as part of the NSW Football Legacy Fund.

The investment is intended to broaden female player options and increase participation opportunities, whilst enhancing football facilities and supporting infrastructure. This fund also aims to assist clubs in developing football programs at all levels through the construction or upgrading of community facilities, leadership, and development initiatives.

As Australia prepares to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, strengthening the football community in NSW is key to matching the unprecedented level of interest in female football. The NSW Football Legacy Fund seeks to ensure it has the facilities and programming to match the buzz that the FIFA World Cup is generating for Australia’s next generation of future Matilda’s 
More information about the NSW Football Legacy Fund is available here

Register your club's interest in round two of the NSW Football Legacy Fund here