Football Federation Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ran two football clinics for girls to celebrate the importance of gender inclusion in the MIKTA partnership group, which comprises Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia.
Football’s ability to unite across gender and culture was on full display as young Australian girls from a range of countries and backgrounds joined together to improve their skills with the Westfield Matildas, Australia’s National Women’s Football Team.
Building on a shared passion for football within the local Mexican, Indonesian, Korean and Turkish diasporas, and the broader Australian community, the MIKTA Community Football Day brought more than 100 girls aged 5-12 from the MIKTA communities together with the Westfield Matildas – who were in the final stages of their preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The girls were coached through ‘AIA Vitality MiniRoos for Girls’ skills development clinics by the Westfield Matildas squad at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, and then Matilda’s stars Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter in Auburn, Sydney.
MIKTA is a new model for Australian diplomacy. It brings together Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Tukey and Australia: five countries with significant strategic and economic weight that share a commitment to using their influence to make international governance work for all, and these two events commemorated Australia’s chairing of the partnership.
For the Canberra event, diplomatic staff from the Embassies of the MIKTA countries were also in attendance, including His Excellency Mr. Armando Alvarez Reina, Ambassador of Mexico, His Excellency Mr. Ahmet Vakur Gökdenizler, Ambassador of Turkey, His Excellency Mr. Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, Ambassador of Indonesia and Minister Sung of the Republic of Korea.
In Sydney, the MIKTA nations were represented by Dr. Seyda Hanbay Arca, Consul-General for Turkey in Sydney, Mr. Yayan Ganda Hayat Mulyana, Consul-General for Indonesia in Sydney, Mr. Sinyoung An, Director of the Korean Cultural Centre and community leaders from Sydney’s Mexican community.
Indonesian Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Nadjib Riphat Kesoema said “Keindahan sepak bola terletak pada kekompakan para pemainnya yang berbakat untuk memenangkan pertandingan. Mirip seperti MIKTA, kompak bekerjasama untuk mencapai tujuan; lari dan tendang namun tetap terlihat keren.”
Football Federation Australia Head of International and Government Relations Mr. Mark Falvo said, “FFA is delighted to celebrate MIKTA and the importance of gender inclusivity through football – the common passion of these communities.”
“Football is a genuine facilitator of unity across gender, culture and age all over the globe and this is the perfect illustration of the power of football.”
“The AIA Vitality MiniRoos for Girls program is designed to provide a fun introductory experience and develop the skills of the next generation of Matildas who will come from a diverse range of backgrounds,” Mr Falvo said.
The MIKTA Community Football Days were held by Football Federation Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with Red Elephant, Capital Football and Auburn Football Club.
About AIA Vitality MiniRoos: MiniRoos is Football Federation Australia’s national entry-level football program. Designed for kids of all abilities, aged 4 – 11 years, MiniRoos uses short, game-based sessions to introduce the football to newcomers in a fun and inclusive way. For more information on how to become an accredited MiniRoos coach, contact Kieran.Lilley@ffa.com.au.