Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Playing in harmony:

Sport helps build stronger communities, and none more so than the most global game of them all.
By Motherpedia
Date: March 21 2013
Editor Rating:

SBS sports anchor and chief football analyst, Craig Foster, has launched a resource kit aimed at schools and community group to support cultural harmony and respect through football - the round ball variety.

Called The Harmony Game, the kit was conceived by Foster as a way of young people from different cultural backgrounds developing their appreciation, understanding and skills for living harmoniously and respectfully in Australia’s diverse communities.

Foster says football is a natural fit because it is the most universal game in the world.

“It’s played in every country on earth by more than 300 million people and this is reflected in the faces of people who play football in Australia.

“But not only does it reflect our cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, it is also a sport that can be equally enjoyed by boys and girls, men and women.”

Foster, who is a father of three, says that one of the fastest growing segments of the Australian sporting market are mums in their 30s who are playing football.

“I think mums realise how good it is for their children, and you can find a club or level of competition to suit your skill and commitment level.

“The experts also tell me that an adult woman burns 1500 calories in an average match so it’s not only good for fitness and fun, but also for weight  management!”

The resource kit provides lesson plans, player clips, posters and facts about football that can be incorporated into the school curricula for Years 3 to 10.  

“There is no doubt that football changes the lives of kids everyday both in Australia and around the world. Through football, we come to know different ways of life and this understanding breeds tolerance and respect.

“That’s what the game gives those who participate - experiences, friends, memories and new perspectives,” Foster says.

The Managing Director of SBS, Michael Ebeid, added that sport is a great way of contributing to building stronger communities.

“We are proud to be driving this great initiative which will provide a year-round resource to help teachers use the game to inspire our younger generations of Australians from diverse backgrounds to understand the importance of diversity.”

* * *

A copy of Craig Foster's Harmony Kit is available here.

You can catch an A-League match this weekend:

  • Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Saturday 5.30pm
  • Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC, Parramatta Stadium, Saturday 7.45pm (sold out)
  • Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Heart, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Sunday 5.00pm
  • Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners, Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Sunday 7.00pm

OR see the Socceroos as they take on Oman in a World Cup qualifier:

  • Australia v Oman, Stadium Australia, Sydney, Tuesday 7.30pm.

Tickets available from Ticketek.

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