Melbourne City FC continued its International Women’s Day and Female Football Week celebrations on Thursday, performing a football clinic for The Big Issue’s Street Soccer female participants.
Female staff from the football and administration departments of Melbourne City joined in the all-female football session which promotes social inclusion and personal change for women from a range of different backgrounds dealing with homelessness, substance abuse, family breakdown and mental illness.
City’s Championship-winning forward Melina Ayres also joined the session - sharing her experiences with the group - saying the experience showed her how football can help a wide range of people on many different levels.
“It was awesome to have the opportunity to play street soccer with people from the north Melbourne community centre. It's great to see they have a place to come once a week to come together and forget anything that maybe affecting personally,” Ayres said.
“To see the enthusiasm and determination in the players was infectious. It's great to see so many women playing and enjoying soccer and I'm glad I can play a part in encouraging them to keep playing and keep having fun. A lot of soccer clinics and programs are aimed at young girls which is awesome but it's great to see that women are enjoying the game just as much.”
The Street Soccer group meets every week with ages ranging from 20 to 70 years old, proving a safe and inviting environment where people of all abilities are welcomed and encouraged to attend.