‘Uniform restrictions’ was sighted as the reason Muslim girls were steering towards soccer over netball in the New South Wales suburb of Arncliffe.
‘No long sleeves and no tights below the hemline of the dress’ made it difficult for the girls to feel comfortable while playing sport.
With such a high Muslim population in the suburb, the Arncliffe Scots Netball Club decided to act on this to give girls the choice to play whichever sport they’d like. President Raylene Bevan suggests clubs need to ‘spend time and talk with the families and try and find out what’s lacking’. With this, the club approached their association to have uniform by-laws amended to ensure that all cultural and religious considerations were catered for.
With the new by-laws signed off, netball clinics were run in local schools by the Arncliffe Scots Netball Club to encourage girls to play, while scholarships were offered with free registrations to low income families.
Over three years the club has grown with more than 15 different nationalities represented including, over 30 Muslim players – even their BBQs are Halal, encouraging participation from all cultures.
Arncliffe Scots’ push for diversity has seen Muslim player, Leila Kahlil represent St George District Netball Association at the 2015 Netball World Cup as flag bearer.
Raylene said ‘we’re just blown away’ to be named an Australia Post One Netball Community Award winner, ‘we didn’t think that we were doing anything special’. She encourages other clubs and associations to do the same and ‘treat every single player from wherever they’re from the same’.
Congratulations to Arncliffe Scots Netball Club on winning an Australia Post One Netball Community Award.
To find out how your club or association can get involved with the One Netball program, visit onenetball.org.au
Arncliffe Scots Netball Club received a Load & Go card valued at $1000 for the club