Ignite Sport Trust in collaboration with New Zealand Red Cross - Settling In

The Fusion Programme - fusing sports, youth development and fun

Ignite Sport Trust successfully secured funding from the 2014 Settling In funding round which supported their Fusion youth development programme. Fusion was run in partnership with New Zealand Red Cross and provided a three day programme involving sports, recreation activities and personal development.

A total of 87 refugee-background young people aged 13-20 years attended the Fusion programmes in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt/Wellington and Porirua. The Fusion programme aimed to help young former refugees settle and strengthen the connection with their local community whilst helping to set personal goals in a new culture and reinforce positive decision making.  

Porirua young people engage in a football session at ASB Sports Centre, Wellington - 2015Through a range of sporting activities participants developed team work and leadership skills, challenged themselves and socialised with other locally based former refugees. Ignite Sport says, “The Settling In fund has similar aims to us.  Together we are meeting a need to welcome young refugees to our country and to help them connect to their new home. Sport is such a great way to connect with one another and make some new friends”. 

Barbara came to New Zealand five years ago from Congo and now lives in Lower Hutt.  After Barbara participated in the Hang Dog climbing wall she said “I have never done this before, it was a challenge because I am really scared of heights.  But I did it and I feel great.  I want to do it again.  I just got up there and I didn’t look back and I didn’t look down.  I kept climbing.” 

As part of Fusion, refugee young people are introduced to ongoing activities, recreational facilities and clubs. Barbara put her name down for ongoing Dodgeball which was a great continuing community connection. Three of the girls from this year's Hamilton programme are now playing for a local football club.

Former refugee young people now living in Lower Hutt challenge themselves at Hang Dog climbing wall - 2015Haidee Kalirai, Programme Coordinator from Red Cross, Hamilton, says, “I noticed a big difference in the youth near the end of the programme, with an increase in confidence, and strengthened bonds with others in their group.  It is a great way to start the year as they can be more confident about participating in sports in the community and at school, and to know what and how to do so.”

Three young people from Fusion Palmerston North were selected by Red Cross to continue in other leadership programmes. They will soon be assisting at primary aged holiday camps run by Red Cross. These young people were selected based on qualities assessed by Ignite Sport staff during the three-day programme.

Settling In funding is one of the Office of Ethnic Communities capacity growth work programmes supporting successful resettlement outcomes for migrants and refugees. Ignite Sport Trust Coordinator Kevin Goldsbury says that “without the partnership with Red Cross and funding support from the Settling In Fund, these opportunities would not happen”.