It’s not every evening that you get to tour a mosque, cheer on an enthusiastic game of soccer and attend a board meeting!
That was how my involvement with the Edmund Rice Centre unfolded on Monday night starting with the launch of our second Common Goal program.
Common Goal involves a partnership between the Edmund Rice Centre WA, Football West, WA Police and the Canning Mosque. It aims to give young people opportunities for leadership training and education through a soccer academy.
After the launch event, the Canning Mosque team (aged from 14 -18) took to the field against a WA Police team in an evenly matched game. Over 100 people watched and cheered on the game and I have to say some of the skills on display would have rivalled the A-League! Canning Mosque was victorious with a 1-0 win.
Common Goal also aims to foster positive relationships between people from diverse communities and assist in strengthening police engagement by providing fun and structured sporting activities where anyone is welcome.
As a board member of the Edmund Rice Centre WA, I was delighted to hear the thoughts of the Turkish Muslim Society, Canning Mosque representatives and senior members of the WA Police about how the program was making a difference in the local community. I was also honored to tour the Mosque with the Iman before the game and understand more about this often misunderstood religion.
The highlight for me though was watching young people from very diverse cultural backgrounds mingling, playing and laughing together. It gives me hope for our future.