National Youth Week | Faaz

April 11, 2016

A GIPPSLAND youth is using his passion for sport to empower young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds.

“I want everyone to have equal opportunities in Australia,” said Faaz, a 24-year old Gippsland resident and sport enthusiast.

After arriving in Australia from Pakistan, Faaz was keen to get involved in the Gippsland community and quickly realised the potential of using sport to facilitate social cohesion.

“Sport’s a big part of the Australian culture and can be used to connect communities,” he said.

To introduce young people to life in Australia, Faaz joined CMY and AFL Gippsland’s ‘In the Game’ program, using footy to connect newly arrived young people. The program aims to introduce young people to sport, while getting them more involved in the community.

Faaz is one of the talented young people who runs AFL skills sessions for other youth in the area. The sessions introduce different aspects of Australian life to young people – particularly those of refugee or migrant backgrounds - help them to meet new people and empower them to join local clubs to elongate the benefits of the physical and social activity.

“I’ve been in Australia for eight years now and I’ve had a pretty good experience, but I know others who haven’t.

“There are a lot of challenges when you move to a new country, but sport can help overcome some of those challenges and link communities.”

Faaz also volunteers with CMY and is one of the pioneers of an anti-racism project.