Update: Congratulations to the Western Sydney Wanderers - Champions of Asia!
This is just a slice of the football story in Sydney which is not only creating the city space on the international stage, but is seeing football used as a catalyst for change. Here are just a few ways football is changing the city of Sydney.
1. Western Sydney Wanderers on the cusp of an AFC Champions League title
WSW and fans are still enjoying Saturday’s win over Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal. In front of a record capacity crowd at the Parramatta Stadium in Sydney, WSW’s "super sub" Tomi Juric scored the 64th minute winning goal of the match giving the Wanderers an advantage over Al Hilal as they go into the second leg of the finals to be played this coming weekend, 1 November.
What’s remarkable is how far this two-and-half-year old team has come in such a short amount of time. Borrowing from the words of WSW themselves: A club for the fans and by the fans has taken it to the best that East and West Asia has to offer and in the process, gone home victorious.
A stadium wrapped in Red & Black, rocking from start to finish is only part of the story of a Club that has touched so many and achieved so much in such a short amount of time…This is History.
2. Sydney’s Aboriginal youth to be supported by One Goal, thanks to AFC’s donation of 10% of gate collections
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in support of One Goal, AFC’s official charity partner, are donating 10% of gate collections at Champions League finals to One Goal in Australia.
The One Goal campaign, a partnership between AFC, World Vision, Royal DSM, GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition) and the AFDP (Asian Football Development Project) leverages the power of football to change the future of Asia’s malnourished children.
AFC’s donation will be used by One Goal to support World Vision Australia’s Young Mob Leaders Program, which aims to provide leadership development opportunities for Aboriginal youth in Sydney, building resilience, healthy lifestyles and reinforcing cultural knowledge systems within Aboriginal communities. The Young Mob Leaders Program will benefit Aboriginal children and young people aged 10- 18 years, particularly children who are at risk of dropping out of school, or have already come into contact with the Juvenile Justice System.
3. Sydney footballers are ‘Champions For Child Nutrition’ changing the way Australians view football and nutrition
For the duration of the AFC Champions League, The Western Sydney Wanderers are ‘Champions For Child Nutrition’ – a One Goal initiative that seeks to promote and encourage grassroots football, a healthy lifestyle, and good nutrition for every child in Asia so they have the sporting chance on the pitch and in life. Football is ever-connected to a child’s nutrition – To be a football champion, it doesn’t start on the field or at practice; rather it starts with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
The ‘Champions For Child Nutrition’ initiative runs alongside the AFC Champions League to inspire football fans to take action to end child malnutrition in Asia – a message Sydney’s A-league team shares with enthusiasm.
Other Champions League ‘Champions For Child Nutrition’ clubs include: Al Hilal, Al Sadd, AlAin, Al Ittihad, Pohang Steelers, FC Seoul and Guangzhou Evergrande.
Stay tuned for the Champions League finals match leg two to be played in Riyadh this Saturday, 1 November: WSW vs. Al Hilal.
Read the announcement: AFC donates ten percent of Champions League finals gate collection to One Goal
For more information on One Goal in Australia, visit australia.onegoalglobal.org