Itiki Sporting Club providing community service

itiki3As far as Mariella Teuira is concerned, if a child wants to be involved with one of the sporting teams coordinated by the Itiki Sporting Club of Glenroy, she’ll find a way to make it happen.

The Itiki Sporting Club is a multicultural club based in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and exists for the social and community development of disadvantaged communities.

Among the sports available through the club is netball and Teuira said numbers are constantly growing for its weekly ANZ NetSetGO program as more and more children discover the game either through their school or family and friends.

The club gets support from Netball Australia and Netball Victoria to run the ANZ NetSetGO program and also rely on local communities to help raise funds.

Teuira, who founded the club in 2014, is proud that the club has developed a reputation in such a short period for its welcoming environment in the local community.

itiki6“A lot of the families we deal with can’t afford fees so we fundraise through our local community and try our hardest so there’s minimal or no cost to families,” Teuira said.

“The last thing we want to do is push away a child because they can’t afford a uniform.

“We engage with disadvantaged youth and families and kids who feel isolated because they come from different backgrounds.

“I’ve enjoyed watching the kids grow as a team, build friendships and their confidence develops along with their netball skills.”

The club also enters teams in the weekly competitions at the Coburg Netball Association and CitySide Sports in Footscray.

The club services a big area in Melbourne’s north and places a big emphasis on children attending school. Teuira says she gets great satisfaction by watching the development in all aspects of their lives.itiki1

“Last year we had a young girl who came from an underprivileged family – she was one of five children – and she was bullied at school,” Teuira said.

“Through playing netball, she’s started getting more confidence and her school started selecting her to play in their team.

“This year she’s come back to play and has brought along her younger brother as well. Netball gives them an outlet.

“Because of the area we look after, we have lot of kids coming from different schools. But it’s been great to watch them grow and build friendships and see their skills develop and want to push to the next level.”