Geelong’s Unity Cup team tasted ultimate success at the TAC Unity Cup Gala Day on the weekend.
The Unity Cup is an annual event, run by AFL Victoria, which encourages people from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds who are new to Australian football or not currently engaged in the sport to participate in a series of clinics across the state, culminating in the gala day.
The Geelong Unity Cup Hub was run at the Leisuretime Sports Precinct in Norlane over February and March, with support from Diversitat Geelong and SEDA Geelong.
The gala day saw more that 450 participants – from 12 years of age up – participate in a series of round-robin matches and finals.
The Geelong senior team won two of its pool round robin matches, and advanced to the grand final.
Pleasingly for the team, they posted a large victory in the grand final over the team that had defeated them comfortably in the round robin stages.
Geelong Cats multicultural development officer Titit Nyak said it was pleasing to see the Geelong team enjoy the whole Unity Cup experience and form new bonds.
“The players didn’t really know each other all that much (before the Unity Cup), and they’ve become friends with each other now,” he said.
“A few of the players decided they wanted to try to join a local football club, which is the main goal of the program: to transition into playing at a local football club.
“That was a really outstanding outcome for the day.”
Mr Nyak thanked Diversitat Geelong for its support of the Unity Cup, in particular Prehashini Joseph and Shiva Shamsi, and also thanked SEDA Geelong and its students for their support of the program.
The Geelong Football Club’s involvement in the Unity Cup is part of its commitment to inclusion and diversity in football. Our community vision is to engage and empower our community to thrive in building healthy, active and inclusive lives. Our Connect program utilises our platforms to build a sense of belonging and connection to our great game.