Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tony Dunkerley, a man for all seasons, sees soccer as the means to better settle refugee children
By Mark Tronson of Press Service International for Christian Today Australia
Special to ASSIST News Service
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Tony Dunkerley’s soccer (football) pedigree is second to none and his heart is to use soccer as a means whereby the children of refugee families can become a meaningful part of the Australian community.
Tony Dunkerley is the immediate past President of the Victorian Football Association, the former Junior Football Commissioner, a former Australian Joeys Assistant Coach, former Victorian Under 21 Coach and under aged Victorian teams and is now back coaching seven year olds.
Moreover he is a father and doting grandfather and a committed Christian. Tony Dunkerley has come on innumerable Country Town Tours with me in challenging rural and regional youth in their sport and Christian holistic living, conducted many seminars on “mentoring” and spoken at many Melbourne schools on these same themes.
Soccer in community for refugee children
Having been involved in soccer all these years, Tony Dunkerley (70) is now focused on a goal to link the children of refugee families into the wider community through soccer and, in so doing, illustrate to them a better understanding of how Australians function and how the values in their new society work out in practical ways.
He has come up against bureaucratic issues which he is working through and hopefully will find a solution with some better understanding of his goals. All this costs money, and he can get funding should his junior soccer competition be refugee nation focused.
In other words there appears to be money available for Afghan refugee junior soccer, and Iraqi refugee junior soccer, as it were, but not for a junior soccer cosmopolitan project. This is a vital stepping stone project.
The costs are significant. Sporting fields need to be found and Shire Council costs met. As well as this, the planning and structure takes up administrative dollars, kits for each squad which includes shorts and shirts, socks and boots along with many other incidentals that come up.
But Tony Dunkerley is a mover and a shaker. He is working his way through these processes to find a way forward and it may not come as first considered, but the Lord may work another miracle altogether where left field comes back into play with amazing outcomes.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognized by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grandchildren. Mark Tronson’s archive of articles can be viewed at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html
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