Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome has accepted an award on behalf of the Club for its ongoing commitment to the multicultural community, at last night’s Multicultural Council of Wellington (MCW) Annual General Meeting.
MCW is an affiliate member of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils and works with Wellington City Council and other regional entities to enable healthy and vibrant ethnic communities.
Last night’s AGM was a chance for its members to reflect on their achievements in the past year, with MP Greg O'Connor, Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon and Mayor of Wellington Andy Foster among the guests in attendance.
With one of MCW’s aims being to promote and encourage cultural, social and sporting activities within ethnic groups and between them and others, the Club was formally recognised for its continued efforts with both its ‘Football for All’ and ‘Bus to the Nix’ initiatives.
Run in conjunction with Football For the Community Diversity Trust and principally funded by Lloyd Morrison Trust and the Club, the Football For All programme funds 100 young football players annually to play football in the region, who otherwise would not have been able to participate. The programme focusses on helping former refugees and lower socio-economic communities to play football, covering the cost of club subscriptions and playing strips - with boots supplied by Club partner New Balance.
This programme also gave those in migrant communities an opportunity to attend a Phoenix match last season, with over 500 Wellington children and their whanau attending the Club’s 22 May match for free – the Phoenix also providing food and transport for these fans, many of whom have never had the opportunity to watch a sporting event at Sky Stadium before.
MCW President Rachel Qi says that the award recognises the Club’s continued willingness to give back to the community.
“The multicultural community in Wellington feel respected and supported by the Wellington Phoenix thanks to their efforts; they feel like the Club truly cares about them and their well-being,” says Qi.
“Giving this community access tickets, transport and food for the Club’s match at Sky Stadium in May is an extremely generous gesture, and supporting us in the youth development space [via Football for All] has helped fulfil many of these children’s footballing dreams.”
Dome says that helping others and being involved in the community is a core part of the Club’s DNA and identity.
“Being part of, and helping the community is a vital part of who we are as a Club, and the values that we share with our staff and players to our fans and stakeholders,” says Dome.
“The Football for All programme is a core pillar of our diversity and inclusion community programme, by using sport as a vehicle to help foster participation and well-being - we’re proud of what the programme has achieved over the past two years and look forward to seeing it continue to expand and help others.”
Dome also recognises the support of others in making their community programmes a success.
“This ongoing relationship has only been made possible thanks to the support and assistance of people like MCW President Rachel Qi, Treasurer Prem Singh and Rakesh Naidoo from NZ Police – they all played key roles in these outcomes and deserve thanks.”