Canterbury Bulldogs Shout Club Memberships For 500 Refugee Families

Despite finishing fifth on the ladder last season, the Canterbury Bulldogs are already in with a shot for the “Most Socially Conscious Team” gong in 2016. 
As part of their ongoing efforts to mesh with their community, the NRL club has announced they’ll be teaming up with a sponsor to shout season memberships for 500 refugee families in the area. Isn’t that just bloody lovely?

Bulldogs reps reckon it’s a win-win, too, with their general manager of community (which is totally a thing) Fayssal Sari saying “when families start to go to football matches they sit in the same spot and they meet other people because they are united in their support for a team… It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, or from Sudan or Syria, sport unifies people.” 

Showing that kind of inclusion is sure to net a fair few young fans, and youth worker Taha Marabani says they’ll take the game and run with it: 

“A lot of newly arrived migrants who come here come from very different backgrounds don’t have very much in common with other school students so football is a really good way to unite them, to get them talking and that itself leads to finding more common interests so it is very powerful.”

The memberships are being divvied out to families throughout Auburn, Bankstown, Canterbury and Liverpool, and the whole thing is more than a little reminiscent of how new refugees have been handled by sporting clubs in Europe
Earlier this year, German football giants Bayern Munich welcomed migrant kids onto the pitch in a show of solidarity, donated €1 million to refugees in the city, and they threw training camps for the younguns too. 

Look, Doggies: if you’re also trying to win over the neutrals, you’re doing a bloody good job. 

Story: Fairfax.
Photo: Mark Kolbe / Getty.