Wellington Phoenix will be offering 2018/19 season tickets for recently resettled refugees and people from low socioeconomic communities in the Wellington region serving as a recognition of the important role sport plays in building bridges between individuals and across communities.
The Football Diversity and Inclusion Programme (FDIP) is an initiative between Wellington Phoenix, the Human Rights Commission, Red Cross, ChangeMakers, Multicultural NZ and the region’s City Councils.
The programme aims to foster inclusivity by using sport as a vehicle to help recently resettled refugees integrate into the community.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome, was pleased with the initiative’s inaugural season and is keen to expand the programme in season 2018/19.
"We are a very diverse city and that multiculturalism is part of our identity as a football club and we look forward to the growth of the programme.
"FDIP recipients are recent arrivals to the city who are often struggling to make ends meet in a new, challenging culture but who love football.
"It’s a small way the club can help out, give back to our community and show our support for the excellent work that the regional councils and their Mayors and staff do in this area."
Rakesh Naidoo from Human Rights Commission believes initiatives like the Phoenix FDIP will help to promote diversity in New Zealand.
"We live in one of the most peaceful and diverse countries in the world.
"Unfortunately, there are still major social and economic barriers that exist for some on our community but with the help of Wellington Phoenix we’ve been working with families to show them the power of sport.
"We know that the power of football has the power to change lives and affect people.
"We have been for children and families to attend the games along with the transport to and from the games.
"We express our sincere thanks to the club for improving the lives of the people in those communities in the Wellington region."
The Wellington Phoenix play their first game at 5.00 pm on 21 October 2018 at Westpac Stadium against Newcastle Jets FC. Get your tickets here.