Bangla Bash making the soccer field accessible for all

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Not everyone is as fit as Sam Kerr or Jamie Maclaren to last a full 90 minutes on the soccer field.

But Canberra’s beloved Bangla Soccer Bash has adjusted the competitive game in order to make it a little more accessible. And now everyone wants to play!

Run by the Bangladesh Sports Club Canberra, the Bangla Soccer Bash began in 2020 and has gone from strength to strength. Organisers made the decision to halve the field size and halve the game time to present a friendly and inclusive event to draw interested players from across the community. Players can sub in or out depending on your energy levels.

The “Bangla Soccer Bash”  is a recipient of a sponsorship grant from Ginninderry, which helps provide a small pot of prize money for the victorious team as well as trophies.

According to one of the club founders Rabiul Islam, who volunteers his time and energy to keep the competition running on top of his Public Service day job, the trophies are the most coveted prize for players as “it gives them such a sense of recognition”.

Ginninderry’s Head of Community Marcus Mills-Smith said there was “a natural alignment of values between Ginninderry and the Bangladesh Sports Club Canberra.

“Encouraging an inclusive culture, with active community engagement and participation, is something we feel strongly about and are committed to continuously improving. We are excited to see the competition come to life.”

He also noted “with the rising cost of living and time constraints families face, we understand that committing to sporting competitions has become increasingly difficult. By providing this grant, Ginninderry is proud to assist the Bangladesh Sports Club Canberra in providing families with access to a competition that promotes a healthy lifestyle and positive community spirit for people of all ages and abilities.”

Rabiul said the Bash had become a popular sporting fixture which now has over 100 active participants, including teams from Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria. One woman was in the comp but Rabiul said more were welcome.

“We welcome everyone with every range of abilities. The most important part is having fun and playing the game.

“It is a really wonderful way to connect with the community. We have a group of Bangladeshi university students who play. They may see each other at uni but the connection they make training and playing together makes  a much stronger bond.”

The current season will reach the grand finals on 18 February, when the coveted trophies and cash prizes will be handed out. But if you are interested in finding or registering a team for the next competition, email bdsportscc@gmail.com for more information.

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