Multicultural Soccer Carnival this weekend

Star: Victorian soccer player Hakeem Al-Araibi is set to inspire at Naracoorte for the Limestone Coast Multicultural Soccer Carnival this Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Star: Victorian soccer player Hakeem Al-Araibi is set to inspire at Naracoorte for the Limestone Coast Multicultural Soccer Carnival this Saturday. Photo: Supplied

Victorian soccer player Hakeem Al-Araibi is set to inspire at Naracoorte for the Limestone Coast Multicultural Soccer Carnival this Saturday.

Hakeem became an Australian citizen in March and is equally passionate off the field in his part-time role as Football Victoria's Community and Human Rights Advocate.

Hakeem will be sharing his story and showcasing his skills at the Aldi Miniroos Soccer Academy and taking a seat as 'rotating coach' during the 'All Nations Cup' 7 A side final.

"My story is about how football and sport helped me as a player," Hakeem said.

"It's a big example of the power of football and how it can change your life. I'm equally grateful for this opportunity as it will help me to maybe be a coach in the future after I finish playing.

"For many people like me, when they come to Australia, it is a new country, a new life and for those people I want to be able to help them, to give them advice, to help them play football, help them with anything and for their future."

Limestone Coast Multicultural Soccer carnival is a one-day event being held at the Naracoorte and District Sports Centre.

Kicking off at 9am, the carnival embraces inclusiveness for all abilities, ages, soccer novices and enthusiasts.

Teams from across the Limestone Coast, Wimmera Mallee and Grampians will be contesting the 7 A side round robin 'All Nations Cup'.

Bring your carnival spirit and cheer on the carnival while taking part in the free ALDI Miniroos (ages five to nine), Soccer Academy (ages 10-16) and United by Football workshops running from 10.30am to 4pm.

Event partner Teys Naracoorte will be busy keeping the hunger at bay during the event, providing a barbecue for participants and spectators.

General manager operations Sage Murray said Teys is excited to be an event partner for the initiative.

"We value each and every individual within the workforce and our way of showing our appreciation to the community, is to show case our quality product which is sourced from local producers," he said. "We are very much looking forward to the day.

"Soccer is more than a game - it brings people together."

This event is funded by the Department of Home Affairs Fostering Integration Grants program.

The grant supports new initiatives by not-for-profit organisations that will help migrants better integrate into Australian life through employment and community participation.

The event partners Naracoorte Lucindale Council, Naracoorte United Soccer Club, Football Federation South Australia, Football Victoria, Teys Australia, Multicultural Communities Council of SA and the Australian Migrant Resource Centres are working together to ensure a successful carnival on and off the pitch.

For further details about the carnival program, contact Caroline Menzel at Naracoorte Lucindale Council on 8760 1100 or visit www.naracoortelucindale.sa.gov.au/soccer.