Popular sport will help refugees gain a foothold in Australia – Brisbane’s Olympic planners must set example

As preparations for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games gain momentum, South East Queensland is developing its strategy for the long run with a view to the 2032 Games in Brisbane.

The Queensland Government Olympic Committee recently released its Legacy Strategy. Increase 2042.

At the guts of this strategy is the goal of making a more lively, healthier, connected and inclusive community through sport and major sporting events in Queensland.

While inclusivity and variety are considered the inspiration of this sustainability plan, there’s little clarity on how the organising committees will work with state and native sporting clubs to support recently arrived and already settled refugees in Queensland.

How sport will help refugees

Refugees are an integral and growing a part of Australia’s multicultural population and beyond.

Local sports initiatives and individual city councillors have explained how vital sport is for improving the lives of refugees here in Australia.

Our Researchattributable to be released later this yr, examines how inequalities comparable to gender, disability, sexuality and ethnicity impact participation in sport in marginalised communities in Queensland. It also shows how we will work with these communities within the lead as much as the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

Our research focuses on how Olympic succession planning can higher support people on the margins of sport, including refugee women and girls.

Over the past twelve months we’ve travelled across south-east Queensland, talking to community groups, sporting clubs and recently settled refugees.

Initial results from this project show that local people groups lively in Brisbane, Logan, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast, amongst others, have consistently used sport as a robust catalyst to assist refugees settle in and feel a way of belonging.

Team sports comparable to hockey, football and rugby are particularly successful amongst women and kids with a refugee background.

In this context it’s price mentioning Community sports have supported the means of belonging and settlement of recently arrived refugees in all Australia.

Refugees can achieve their latest country through sport, amongst other things.

The Olympic Games and the refugees

The relationship between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic and Paralympic Games, asylum seekers and refugees is long-standing and complex.

Some critics have argued that the IOC is overly concerned that political protest gestures could overshadow sporting success stories. Questions have also been raised as to why the IOC and the Olympic Games haven’t done more to boost awareness of human rights issues.

However, one vital factor is missing from these discussions: how host cities can develop effective strategies to advertise refugee settlement and belonging.

Estate planning initiatives represent an incredible opportunity for Brisbane to noticeably engage with local sporting groups within the lead as much as the 2032 Olympic Games.

Until now, the legacy strategy – a so-called “living document” – has identified 15 focus areas as pathways to the three primary desired outcomes of the key event.

The primary desired outcomes are:

  1. higher physical activity results in a healthier general population
  2. increased participation in sport with a specific give attention to culturally and linguistically marginalized communities
  3. improved athletic performance at elite competition level.

However, inside these broad segments, there’s little detail on how grassroots engagement will occur to implement these guarantees.

How Brisbane can improve

Here are 3 ways the Brisbane Legacy and Organising Committee can partner with sporting clubs to assist refugees gain a foothold of their local communities.

  1. Targeted financial and infrastructure support for small-scale, progressive sporting programs that enable physical activity and informal sport amongst recently settled refugees. A key focus of the Elevate 2042 strategy guarantees to “create more great places and precincts” that can profit Queensland's diverse and multicultural community. However, it just isn’t clear how it will support local, community-based clubs and initiatives to foster close relationships with refugee communities.

  2. Targeted give attention to women and kids from culturally and linguistically diverse refugee backgrounds. This will help them to beat challenges which can be unique to their very own communities. The Elevate strategy doesn’t explicitly give attention to the problems facing women and girls in its 15 identified focus areas. In particular, non-binary and gender diverse individuals are completely excluded from the plan.

  3. A culturally informed and sustained consultation between local councils, sporting clubs, state sporting organisations and settlement authorities to discover the unique ways during which the legacy of major sporting events can profit marginalised communities.

Refugees need a voice within the strategy

Priority Area 15 of the Elevate 2042 plan goals to deliver a dynamic and provoking cultural programme beyond 2042 that represents the country’s great diversity and inclusivity.

The Olympic Agenda 2020+5 recommends strengthening support for refugees and populations affected by displacement. However, priority area 15 doesn’t mention the refugee community.

The growing refugee community can’t be not noted of those conversations as their stories and voices grow to be increasingly relevant and integral to Australia’s social fabric and sporting culture.

image credit : theconversation.com