Brunswick Hockey is Hockey Victoria’s reigning Community Club of the Year. As part of its 2020 community outreach, the Club has developed an International Students’ Social Hockey programme which will be launced on Monday 2 March to coincide with the beginning of the academic year. Each Monday over a six week period, international students are welcome to attend free social hockey sessions at the Brunswick pitch, run by our youth volunteers.
Through the direct experience of a young Indian player, the Brunswick Club reflected on the struggles of many international students, who are lamentably over-represented in mental health and suicide statistics. Accordingly it developed a programme to help breakdown isolation, make friendships and community connections. “The Club decided we wanted to do something fun to help international students make friends and get to know some locals”, Mr Dean Paatsch, a Brunswick Hockey Committee member said.
The evenings are targeted toward the 25,000+ Indian students enrolled in the Melbourne CBD, but are open to all. IDP Education (the largest education agent in Australia), Hockey Victoria and the City of Moreland are sponsoring our efforts. With the onset of the Corona virus, Indian students in Melbourne are an increasingly important group. “What better way to get to know Australia than through hockey? Mr Paatsch said “It’s the national sport of India and a common language between us”.
The Club provides all equipment, specialist coaching for new starters, fun activities and finishes the evening with a plate of curry and a chance to chat with new friends and local club members. No charge is made, however students must register online at https://www.brunswickhockeyclub.org.au/international-students
The international student sector is incredibly important to the Victorian economy. The Club hopes to set a good example whereby the infrastructure of community sporting clubs can be used to address the needs of Indian student population in Melbourne.