Students embrace netball

All this week, Netball NSW has been celebrating the variety of personalities, cultures, ages and abilities that make up the NSW netball community.

Social Inclusion Week 2013 officially started on Saturday 23 November and earlier this week netballnsw.com highlighted the work that is being done with Intensive English Centres in Western Sydney and Blacktown’s SAIL Community.

On Thursday 29 November, Netball NSW hosted its inaugural ANZ NetSetGO! School Gala Day for Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds, with over 200 students participating.

Students and teachers from Earlwood Public, Belmore North Public, Merrylands Public, Seven Hills Public and Old Guildford Public primary schools, came together at the Anne Clark Centre to test out the netball skills they have learnt while participating in their school run ANZ NetSetGO! program.

Netball NSW Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie said it was a great opportunity for children from various cultural backgrounds to enjoy some court time together.

“From the amount of laughter and cheering that echoed from the courts, I think it’s safe to say everyone had a fantastic day,” Guthrie said.

“Not only were participants testing out their recently acquired netball skills, they also had fun meeting and interacting with students from other schools.”

This event was a new initiative by Netball NSW and in addition to the providing the students with this opportunity, the Gala Day was designed as a professional development for teachers.

“NetSetGO! is our introductory program for netball, and this Gala Day enabled teachers from participating schools to gain further skills and knowledge on how to run NetSetGO! in their own school environment.”

“We were delighted with the amount of positive feedback we received from both students and teachers to their Gala Day experience, and we hope they continue this enjoyment back at their respective schools,” concluded Guthrie.

Social Inclusion Week (SIW) is about encouraging communities to reconnect and be inclusive of all cultures, age groups, nationalities and the disadvantaged.

SIW aims to help Australians feel valued and to give people the opportunity to participate fully in society.  Conceptualised by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, the week was launched in 2009 as a way for communities to share knowledge and experience to educate and raise awareness and is supported by the Australian Federal Government.

In 2013, the theme will again be Collaborate, Connect and Celebrate! – a strong call to action to encourage people of all ages to join together and engage with the objectives of the week by hosting or attending a social inclusion focused event.

In addition to the grass-roots, community created events called ‘National Street Parties’, there will be a number of national events and activities to engage and celebrated during the Week.

Netball NSW is also getting into the spirit by holding a competition!

We are asking those in our community to send in their Social Inclusion stories and images, or nominate someone you know who goes out of their way to include all walks of life, that best reflects the Collaborate, Connect and Celebrate! theme.  Our favourite three entries will receive a NSW Swifts Thank You Pack, so make sure you include your contact details in your submission!

So send your best Social Inclusions entries to [email protected] by 5pm this Friday 29 November for your chance to win!

For more information on Social Inclusion Week 2013, please visit their website: www.socialinclusionweek.com.au