Campbelltown Uniting Soccer Club is making soccer a lesson of inclusiveness
Campbelltown Uniting Soccer Club, members of the Macarthur Football Association, plays in the Macarthur District soccer competition with minis, boys, girls, men’s and women’s teams. It is a family club that values ‘fair and equal play’ for all players. It started in 1975 by some people of the church, and initially, it was a space for kids to play soccer and get families of the church together.
Nowadays, after more than four decades since the club started, they have around 27 teams and over 220 members. This nonprofit club is led by a dedicated community of volunteers, players, coaches and managers, all with a shared passion for the grassroots game. Their home ground is Lynwood Park at St Helens Park, welcoming players of all ages and backgrounds from under 6 to over 35 years old, having now a player who is 75 and kids with special needs such as autism.
Andy Carlisle, Minister of Campbelltown Uniting Church and Church representative in the Soccer Club, explains that the executive team is technically a subcommittee of the Church Council, but it very much runs itself. He says that they aim to be an inclusive club where people from different backgrounds and with different needs enjoy playing while they all feel safe. The most common recruiting process is through networking and word of mouth, they also raise their profile with a stall at shopping centres, and every once in a while they promote the club in the church services.
Even though everyone has to pay a registration fee, the Church usually sponsor and support people, particularly kids that cannot afford to pay the fees, but now, most kids do not have to pay anything because of the Active Kids Program provided by the government that covers most costs. Anyhow, they always try to keep the fees as low as possible thanks to the hard work of the volunteers and parents – many of them are or have been coaches- that are very active and willing to help. Most coaches have taken the Macarthur Football Association coaching courses making sure they have the skills needed to train people.
At the moment there are not many people of the church involved, basically because of the average age of the church members. On the other hand, people from other churches, who value the Christian ethos, are part of the club, even though it’s not explicit, but their meetings take place in the church, always starting with a prayer.
The club provides a background of being fair and inclusive, always serving the community, they make of this very popular sport a reason to build community, to work for the youth, making them more active and healthy.
To join the club call 0403 708 418 or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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