Adversity doesn’t build character – it reveals it

As many of us are aware, recent weeks have been difficult for many Melbourne and Victorian residents. It’s been particularly tough for members of Melbourne’s public housing communities who were affected by an unprecedented “hard lockdown”.  

While acknowledging the need to address some serious issues that emerged through this hard lockdown to ensure that the devastating impact on these communities is not replicated in the future, we also want to highlight the incredible community support and advocacy efforts. Led by young people living within the North Melbourne, Flemington and Carlton public housing communities, their work to ensure people were cared for inspired thousands of us across Australia.  

One of these young leaders is Sabrina Adem. In recent weeks, Sabrina has gone above and beyond in order to support her community. Sabrina and her team of volunteers based in the North Melbourne Community Centre have been calling for, curating and delivering enriching, engaging and culturally-appropriate resources for young people that go beyond meeting basic needs and help to improve physical and mental well-being, promote community connection and reduce feelings of isolation. 

We were thrilled to be able to contribute to these efforts in a small way by donating 500+ soccer balls, basketballs and sensory balls to help young people to engage with online sports sessions, such as our very own Living Room Sports sessions. These balls also serve as a reminder and motivator that physical activity is essential to our overall well-being. We also look forward to seeing young people in the community using their new balls to get outside and return to community sport as soon as it’s safe to do so.  

Welcoming Sport would like to extend a huge thank you to Sabrina Adem as well Shan Berih, Akram Hajj, and the team of many community volunteers for their hard work in pumping and delivering so many balls! We would also like to thank Park SSC, Football Victoria, The Victorian Multicultural Sports Fund, Collingwood All-Stars Basketball Association, Sunbury Basketball Association and Wyndham Basketball Association for their contributions to this great community effort.  

For more information about Welcoming Sport in Victoria, contact Victorian Coordinator Jessica Scannell: or visit the Welcoming Sports page.

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