The mission of ICSL is to deliver the “Sport for all Program” in the Hobart area as a vehicle to engage culturally diverse and migrant communities. The “Sport for all Program” will deliver futsal, netball and cricket coaching clinics and tournaments. The clinics have been designed to develop or improve the skill set to then transition along the participation pathway to competing in tournaments. It has been well documented that one of the key barriers to participation in sport is a lack of confidence due to inadequate skill acquisition.

The beneficial impacts of sport have been well documented. Engaging in physical activity such as sport has numerous health benefits, both physical (such as improving fitness and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases) and mental (such as building self-esteem and counteracting stress and depression). Studies also increasingly point to the social benefits of sport, noting that increased participation in sport can assist in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, and building social cohesion.

As well as physical health benefits, sport can provide “a sense of purpose and direction for young people recovering from the traumas of the refugee experience or the impact of racism,”
Sport also offers an opportunity for social interaction, and a forum for non-English speakers to learn and practise English. Additionally, participation in sport can promote ethnic and cultural harmony and strengthen communities.

Given its profound influence on Australia’s culture and national identity, sport in the Australian context offers opportunities to break down barriers and encourage participation in a way that other areas of society may struggle to match, Involvement in sport can therefore be a particularly effective means of promoting refugees’ participation in Australian society, and introducing refugees to Australian culture.

According to the Australian Sports Commission, latest AUSPLAY participation data, through 2015-2016, 87% of all Australians participate in either sport or physical activity. However, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and people belonging to culturally diverse and migrant communities are less likely to participate in sport and physical activity than the general population (52%) with women from this group having a particularly low participation rate (48%).

Numerous studies have identified multiple barriers which people from culturally diverse and migrant communities backgrounds (particularly refugees) face when accessing and participating in sport and physical activity. These include cultural barriers, practical and financial constraints and a lack of culturally-appropriate programs.

In designing the “Sport for all Program” these factors were taken into consideration to ensure the program was bespoke to the needs of the culturally diverse and migrant communities