Balga SC release book called ‘Together’

Balga SC

Balga Soccer Club of Western Australia’s State League Two has put out a book in which the club’s culturally diverse members, players, coaches, and other volunteers share their personal stories.

The book, written by Tom Jeffcote, features many inspiring stories, such as that of Grace Dawa and her three children, Curtis, Sean, and Zara, all of whom are South Sudanese refugees. Grace fled to Uganda with her family to escape the war and spent 11 years in a refugee camp before coming to Australia, where she has been made to feel very welcome at Balga.

“I have some writing experience,” the writer told us.

“Ken Shorto, the President of Balga SC, asked me to write the club’s story.

“I agreed to do it on a totally pro bono basis if it was about the people at the club rather than a history of results, etc. Ken agreed, and I put the book together. It is made up of a diverse group of officials, players, both past and present, and, most importantly, parents and their children from all over the world, many of whom are refugees from war-torn countries.”

Together also highlights the Fee-Free Football Programme, which they’ve put in place to get kids to play football without any financial barriers.

“We believe Balga is the only club in Western Australia and indeed Australia that has a Fee-Free Football programme; therefore, it is vitally important in allowing kids to play football when many of them would not be able to,” Jeffcote said.

Club President Ken Shorto explained:

“We have sponsors who support the ideology of Balga Soccer Club and parents and grandparents who help out doing jobs around the club as volunteers. This gets us through and saves us paying people to do these jobs,” he said.

Shorto exemplifies the culture and spirit of Balga as a club. Ken enjoys the club’s lack of egos, open honesty, and camaraderie. He has witnessed and driven the club’s culture change over the years, from a predominantly British membership to today’s multi-cultural community group membership.

“I don’t care what colour people are or ethnic or religious background they have, I just judge them by what they do, act and how they behave,” he added.

The book, which is available at the club for $10, is a worthwhile read for all and is a huge step in the right direction for giving volunteers their due credit while also recognising the purpose football serves for those who don’t have much.

$500,000 dedicated to the improvement of safety across NSW

A list of successful applicants across Football New South Wales are now entitled to a grant courtesy of $500,000 to Local Sport Defibrillator Grant (LSDG).

The sole purpose of LSDG is to provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to sports clubs across the state in order to combat the growing correlation between sport participation and cardiac arrests incurred by participants.

These devices have the potential to save participants lives within these crucial emergency situations.

Situations in where time is of the essence, the use of a defibrillator can be the difference in saving someone’s life.

Although the situation of a cardiac arrest occurring to be highly unlikely, due to the increased frequency of the medical episode taking place primarily within sport.

The safety of a broader community requires an approach in which it can allow for an equalizer within these tremulous situations.

Impact on Football Across NSW

14 clubs across the state of NSW where listed upon the successful applications, entitling those clubs to receive 3 defibrillators each.

Southern District Soccer Football Association have had quite the substantial contribution targeted towards their region.

4 out of the possible 14 AEDs were provided to a region where football has experienced expansion in growth and participation.

Heartbeat of Football

Heartbeat of Football (HOF) have worked in conjunction with Football NSW, acting as their primary community heart partner since 2022.

Boasting the motto “No one should die playing the sport they love,” HOF are dedicated within the company’s objective of having zero related hearth deaths on a sporting ground.

The efforts of HOF are in unison with the LSDG.

Football NSW Manager Government Relations, Funding, and Infrastructure, Daniel Ristic, said via press release.

“The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant has been a fantastic grant initiate allowing football clubs across NSW to equip themselves with life saving devices that are making a difference at the community level.”

The LSDG grant will continue to provide the required needs necessary in which can ultimately be lifesaving to a new branch of football entities across NSW.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

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