Introducing netball to SAIL Community

All this week Netball NSW is taking a moment to celebrate the variety of personalities, cultures, ages and abilities that make up our 112,000-plus strong community.

Social Inclusion Week 2013 officially started on Saturday 23 November and earlier this week brought you the work that has done with Intensive English Centres in Western Sydney.

Remember; get involved in our Social Inclusion Week competition! Details below…

Today we continue to talk about the great work being done in our community with the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program.

The SAIL Program Inc. is a volunteer, non-profit, secular organisation that provides free English support and community services to the Sudanese refugee community in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

SAIL Program organisers approached Netball NSW earlier this year to organise a one-off clinic for their participants.  Netball NSW Community Engagement Manager Kristy Guthrie said the organisation took the initiative to extend this program over four weeks.

“The work that SAIL does in their community is really fantastic and they responded very positively to our ideas of getting the young girls involved in netball, so it was a perfect fit for us to extend our work with them in their Blacktown community,” Guthrie said.

“NSW Swifts Sonia Mkoloma and Mo’onia Gerrard came to Blacktown netball courts to get involved, and the participants responded so well to them.  Both Mon and Sonia were great with the girls; the participants made a real connection with the players and they all had a lot of fun.”

“I’m excited that we will be continuing our work with the SAIL community in 2014.  We are looking to expand on our 2013 efforts to include more sessions and Gala Days, all with the objective of engaging with more young people in the area,” Guthrie explained.

The Netball NSW SAIL Xtend Program was held over a four-week period during March and April, encouraging the Sydney SAIL community to participate in netball with four one-hour sessions.The purpose of the program was to introduce basic netball skills to the young Sudanese refugees as many had never heard of the sport, let alone played. The girls ranged from six to 17 years old and were taken through activities based on the ANZ NetSetGO! program – Netball Australia’s introductory program to netball.

Guthrie says the organisation is looking to continue growing the sport in the region, particularly throughout the SAIL Community, and build upon the engagement from this year.

“I’m really excited that we are continuing this relationship into next year.  The SAIL participants from this year were really talented and they had a lot of fun, so it will be great to see them return and bring some new friends along to our sessions in 2014,” Guthrie concluded.

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 theCollaborate, 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 by 5pm this Friday 29 November for your chance to win!

For more information on Social Inclusion Week 2013, please visit their website: