From cricket in India to footy in the Pacific

Flinders Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity students are returning to India and Vanuatu to promote the excitement and benefits of sport with school students and young adults in other nations.

The highly successful work integrated learning opportunities, supported by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Mobility Plan, includes participating in a special slum street soccer tournament in Kolkata and support for the Van 2017 Pacific Games in Port Vila in December.

Flinders students Lachlan Smith, Joshua Abbott, Denis Perry and Christian Thiel at the Saradindu Mukherjee Cricket Academy in Kolkata.

In November-December, 15 students will engage in international industry placements in Kolkata and Mumbai in India with organisations with community, educational or professional sport and health promotions.

They will run training clinics, sporting carnivals and fitness testing in a range of sports in partnership with the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy and AFL India and centres including with Singhania School, La Martiniere for Girls, Mulund Thane Sports and Young Men’s Welfare Society.

Ten Flinders students were awarded New Colombo Mobility scholarships to India in 2016, 15 this year and 20 in 2018 under the three-year program.

Last year’s Flinders-New Colombo Plan India group was led by Flinders Sport, Health and Physical Activity senior lecturer Dr Deb Agnew.

Team leader Dr Agnew and a group of Flinders students have recently returned from another sport development placement in Vanuatu, working with the Concordia College Football Outreach Program and AFL Vanuatu.

Helping with the first Vanuatu’s first women’s AFL grand final was a real highlight of this trip, Dr Agnew says.

“A critical element of the placement is a project developed and undertaken by the student that specifically targets the needs of the host organisation,” says Dr Agnew.

“As well, our partner organisations in India – including the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) which has local links there – have been vital in connecting us with schools and sports clubs, which complements the academic support provided by university staff.”

From Aussie Rules, soccer and cricket to netball and volleyball, Dr Agnew says it’s the shared vision of the host organisations, Flinders University and the DCLA to create “sustainable sport programs in India”.

Flinders Associate Professor Shane Pill says he is keen to support a street soccer tournament during the Indian expedition to highlight the engagement of Flinders in these Indian communities.

“We have built some strong links via our University’s work integrated learning programs in India and now in Vanuatu,” Associate Professor Pill says.


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