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Community picks up slack

28 Feb 2019

Community picks up slack Image

The Docklands community has stepped up and taken control of the area’s sports programs after the City of Melbourne’s (CoM) contractor pulled out of Australian operations.

The CoM’s Active Melbourne City Sports Program (AMCSP) was run by Limelight Sports from July 2014 until the end of last year when the company ceased operations in the country.

And while the council reviews the program and plans for the future, Docklands locals and workers have organised their own competitions.

A functioning competition running at The Hub was discovered by Sport Staff One, who had been keen to fill the service gap created.

Lanre Abedayo, an analyst at Public Transport Victoria, played soccer in the AMCSP last year and started reaching out to teams involved after he heard the competition wouldn’t be running this season.

Soon there were nine teams signed up, enough to organise the Tuesday competition that started on February 5. But Mr Abedayo said there was an overflow of interest.

A Friday competition is launching on March 4, and a Monday competition is in the process of being set up.

Teams involved include the Bureau of Meteorology, Public Transport Victoria, Open Universities, ANZ, AMP and NAB.

Mr Abedayo said he was involved in a number of different mentoring and community type roles, where he saw his responsibility as giving back.

“I don’t care about race, gender, whatever. I guess I want to do to people what I’d like them to do to me,” he said. “I believe in karma, so I just do what comes on my conscience.”

Keith Buxton from Sports Staff One said the company was collaborating with the previous management team to ensure the competition was run “smoothly, professionally and for the benefit of all the participants”.

“Active City Sports is launching in Melbourne to give city workers the opportunity to play sport during their lunch breaks,” he said.

“The competition will begin with five-a-side soccer in March, before new sports will be offered. This is a fun and entertaining way to keep active with your colleagues whilst working in the city.”

“Those interested in joining can contact us on (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on 9642 1370.”

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the council would undertake a review to determine appropriate future community offerings.

“Each of our recreation centres offers a huge range of programs and we encourage members to get in touch with their local club to find out more.”

Netball programs are also running at The Hub for Docklands locals, with Melbourne Netball expanding into the suburb after 18 years at Flagstaff Gardens.

Melbourne Netball founder Clare Heasly said Docklands offered an important demographic for such programs.

“We really wanted to open up in Docklands because it’s just that further distance from the city that means that there is a more residential audience and potentially a demographic of more isolated people,” she said.

“We want to get the isolated person out of their apartment because odds are there’s people in the same block that don’t know each other.”

“Particularly the high ratio of international students in Melbourne understandably stick together and don’t expand in an integrative way. We’d like to help them feel less isolated.”

The netball competition at The Hub has just started running on Wednesday nights and late sign-ups are welcome: melbournenetball.com/venue/the-docklands-netball-3/

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