26th May, 2021 — Membership and management

Canley Heights FC pitching a comeback

At the end of the 2019 season, Canley Heights Football Club was feeling like it had just been mowed down by Manchester United. 

Organisational issues that can overwhelm even the best grassroots clubs resulted in players, coordinators and talent leaving. They faced an uncertain future after nearly 80 years on the field. 

Instead of blowing the whistle and calling full time, a new generation of volunteers has stepped up to hopefully save the club and guide it back to success with some help from the Good Sports program. 

Shortly after signing up, the club scored an early win with a $1000 prize for embracing the program. The money will go toward the never-ending need for equipment, which in turn helps to keep fees down.

And the invigorated leadership team strongly believes the skills it learns from being involved with Good Sports will flow on to the rest of the community.

Diversity and inclusivity at Canley Heights Football Club

Based in Fairfield Council district, about 40km west of Sydney CBD, the club’s membership reflects the culturally diverse population, with players from Asia, the Middle East and eastern Europe.

New club secretary Trinh Huynh said the club’s family-friendly approach, focus on fun and its welcoming nature for people from all backgrounds made it special in the local soccer landscape.

“We felt welcome the moment we entered,” Trinh said. “They welcome anybody.” 

Families who turn up are also encouraged to get the girls involved, with teams for both genders. 

The leadership team is keen to get the Good Sports program rolled out and optimistic about the benefits. 

Having the important discussions

“Good Sports talk about alcohol and drugs, all of those things are hugely important in the current environment,” Trinh said.

“They are things I also discuss with my children at home. I think that they’re important factors in our daily lives that we need to talk about.”

She sees Good Sports’ mental and physical wellbeing strategies flowing on to the wider community.

“Especially for the people coming from a multicultural background. With the parents too, they don’t get to go to school and learn what people like me have learned, so if we can pass this information on it would be great.”

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Membership and management