Breaking barriers

Breaking barriers

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: A Chelsea supporter, Southern River College student Morteza Ali Doust is using his passion for sport to help young migrants settle into life in Australia. Photograph – Juanita Shepherd

It can be difficult to adjust to life in a new country but thanks to a Communicare project and the dedication of one Southern River College student some migrant families will find the adjustment a little easier.

Year 11 student Morteza Ali Doust has been a part of the Get Active Project which promotes the benefits of social connection though sport and recreation in schools and the wider community.

Funded by the State Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries GAP was a project aiming to increase participation in sport amongst people aged five to 18 years from diverse backgrounds.

Morteza started working with GAP as part of a schoolwork placement program earlier this year.

He is currently assisting to coordinate multicultural sports programs for the upcoming October school holidays to provide young migrant people with access to affordable organised sports sessions.

Originally from Iran Morteza arrived in Australia in 2013.

Fluent in Farsi, Dari and English he also assists young people and their families to correctly complete enrolment forms for school holiday programs as well as collaborate with participants and coaches to ensure everyone is gaining maximum benefit from the sessions.

He said when he first arrived in the country he did not know anyone and had no idea how to get involved with local sport.

“After a while my family made some friends who helped me become involved with the Sutherlands Park Soccer Club,” he said.

“I joined the under 18s Spartans which has been great.”

Morteza said people did not have to be good at sports to enjoy it.

He said it was a great way to make friends and just have fun.

“I’m glad that I can help other people become involved in sports in the community through the Get Active Project,” he said.

“Soccer has no barriers.”

Communicare chief executive officer Melissa Perry said the organisation was thrilled to develop student placement opportunities for young people.

“It also enables their skillset to be utilised to successfully increase sport and recreation rates amongst members in the community,” she said.