Youth leaders making their mark with sport

UNSW's Football United will play a key role in Australia’s delegation to the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference.

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UNSW Football United's Teresa Youl

Australia’s delegates to the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference will be announced at UNSW this week. 

Among them are youth leaders, between 15 and 19 years of age, involved in various sport for development programs such as UNSW’s Football United, Rugby Youth Foundation and NRL community programs.

The Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfred Lemke, will speak about his organisation’s support of next month’s conference (2-7 December).

Around 1,000 young people from different sport and youth organisations, government and international institutions from the region will attend the conference in New Caledonia. They will discuss a number of challenges facing the region, including improving education and employment opportunities for young people in their communities.

UNSW’s Football United is the convening organisation for the Australian delegation. The delegates from six different sports will be led by Dr Anne Bunde-Birouste, the founder of UNSW’s Football United and a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

One of the Australian youth delegates is Teresa Youl, a 19-year-old refugee and orphan from Sudan, who has a long association with UNSW’s Football United.

“Football is my passion. In many ways it has been a big part of my education,” she says.

“When I was in high school I thought it was difficult to get into university, but I got inspiration from Football United," said Teresa, who is now doing International Development Studies at UNSW.

“I’m really excited about going to this conference,” says Teresa, who was the first recipient of the Football United scholarship, sponsored by the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Appeal. “I want to learn everything about sport management for development, so I can help other people in the future.”

What: Meet the Australian delegation to the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference

When: 5-6.30pm, Tuesday, 26 October, 2013

Where: Room G23, UNSW Law School, Kensington Campus

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8920 / 0422 934 024

About UNSW’s Football United: UNSW’s Football United was founded in 2006 in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. It uses football to build opportunities for belonging, racial harmony and community cohesion. It focuses on refugee youth in the west and south-west of Sydney and delivers life-skills education, leadership and regular football programs.