Adam Saad has set out to inspire the next generation of AFL superstars as part of the Clubs ongoing commitment towards engaging the multicultural communities of the Gold Coast.
In his role as an AFL Multicultural Ambassador, Saad, in conjunction with AFL Queensland, continues to engage over 150 participants in the largest and first ever multicultural centre on the Gold Coast. Involving students from the Australian International Islamic College, the success of this program is a result of the hard work and passion that Saad has for supporting youth from this culturally and linguistically diverse community.
The running defender spends his day off assisting the delivery of the eight week program and ensures that each child at the centre gets better access to our club and the sport of AFL.
“It is great that the students can relate to me through our culture and beliefs," said Saad.
“It allows them to try something (AFL) they would not have normally participated in.”
Since 2012 the Gold Coast SUNS have run an annual Diversity Engagement event held at Metricon Stadium. This event sees one hundred community members from culturally diverse backgrounds come together to discuss current social engagement issues and to provide any feedback regarding the GC SUNS/ AFLQ Diversity engagement programs.
In 2015 the GC SUNS will take this key event to another level capitalising on the success of past years and have delivered the 2015 Diversity Engagement Function. The 2015 event took place on the spectacular Skyline Terrace of Metricon stadium during the R19 match against the West Coast Eagles on the 1st of August engaging participants and key stakeholders from GC SUNS Diversity programs.
Since the launch of the Multicultural Schools Program in 2012 the Gold Coast SUNS have demonstrated a continued commitment towards supporting the multicultural communities that reside on the Gold Coast.
To increase the level of much needed support for new migrants and refugees the GC SUNS have successfully developed the New Migrant and Refugee Employment Upskill Program. This program was made possible with funding received through the Department of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA)
This program will up skill, offer player mentorship and provide key networking opportunities enhancing the chances of employment for all participants.
Working closely with the Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO) and The Migrant Centre (TMC) the Gold Coast SUNS will enhance the employability of participants through key engagement sessions and events exposing the program participants to the clubs various business contacts.
The key objectives for this program are:
The primary objective when first developing the Gold Coast SUNS Multicultural Schools Program was to provide Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) students with a positive means of social inclusion through the great game of AFL. The GC SUNS targeted Queensland schools with a high percentage of CaLD students (primarily on the Gold Coast) providing students from a multicultural and non-multicultural background the opportunity to participate together.
AFL is a great vehicle to engage students of all creeds, cultures and social backgrounds however through this program the emphasis is not primarily on learning the skills of the game but more around maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle and about creating awareness of the different cultures that exist in the school/ wider Gold Coast community.
The GC SUNS Multicultural Schools Program also aims to improve access to AFL for migrant and refugee communities whether as a player, fan, administrator or umpire with assistance from AFL Queensland.
How the Multicultural Schools Program Works
The GC SUNS Multicultural schools program is conducted with students between grades 5– 6 and Secondary Schools Years 7 – 10. Schools with a higher percentage of multicultural students will take preference in regards to the participation of the program as positions are limited.
Each week of the program has varying themes around teamwork, encouragement and respect while maintaining the overall message of social inclusion and the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. The program can be tailored to fit any school timetable, however, program delivery will consist of:
Welcome to the AFL- Introduction to MSP
Focus on cultural awareness and the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle.
Theme: Cultures in the class and active and healthy lifestyle.
Learn the skills
Basic skills delivered by AFLQ staff.
Theme: Importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
Rules of the game
Delivered by AFLQ Umpire Development Coordinator.
Fun physical testing
Body Awareness and Vertical jump test
Player to talk about experiences in AFL / what it takes
Importance of healthy and active lifestyle
Cultural identity and awareness
Q & A with player