New South Wales’ Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.
Acclaimed to be the ESFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Grant is a first for a local grassroots association in NSW, the grant will fund sport and physical activity events for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the ESFA Community.
Specifically, the grant is seeking to support projects that are aimed at the following:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- Newly arrived migrants and refugees, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups’
- Women’s football
- People with a physical and/or intellectual disability
- LGBTIQA+ communities
The grant reaffirms the ESFA’s dedication to developing football for the entire community – irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.
Furthermore, the announcement represents a significant aspect of the ESFA’s key strategic pillars for 2021-24. These pillars outline a focus on delivering football which is not just of a high-quality standard, but football that is accessible to the entire Eastern Suburbs community in order to ensure that more members of the area are encouraged to be a part of the game.
ESFA Director Lisa Thorn explained the reasoning behind the grant by reiterating what the association stands for.
“This is an important mechanism to promote the growth of football for all,” she said.
“At ESFA we believe it is important that sporting bodies reflect the diversity in the communities they are a part of, and that they ensure that everybody has access to the beautiful game.
“This program supports people who are historically less likely to participate within ESFA competitions and will help build a resilient, cohesive and harmonious ESFA community.”
President of the ESFA, Nigel Singh, acknowledged the instrumental role football plays in fostering community and connectedness, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.
“The events of last season highlighted how important football is beyond just the obvious physical benefits,” he said.
“Football establishes a sense of community, and it provides an avenue to form deeper connections with people we might not ordinarily interact with.
“We believe this program will allow our Clubs to continue the fantastic job they are doing in growing the game and in highlighting that participating within ESFA is about more than just football.”