Since 2003, our very own Birrong Sports Football Club has hosted a yearly Japanese Youth Football Exchange Program, giving participants a chance to have a kick around with their Australian counterparts and a firsthand experience of the Australian culture. In early August, we were excited to welcome back 32 participants from Suita City, Japan for the programs first iteration since the COVID pandemic in 2019.
While football is the main motivation for the program, the overall experience is so much more for the visitors from Birrong’s “sister city”.
Whether it’s excursions to local schools, Sydney Harbour, or even the local ten-pin bowling alley – the Japanese Exchange participants get to experience the ‘Aussie’ lifestyle.
The festivities culminate with a World Cup Gala Day, where Birrong Sports and Bankstown Sports Stars Under 10 to Under 14 football teams join forces with the Suita City to play small-sided games to enjoy the comradery and partake in the “World Game”.
The Bankstown Sports Group is proud to provide $10,000 towards the purchase of an iconic Birrong Sports/Suita City joint strip and cap that kids from both clubs get to keep as a gift for their participation, along with gift cards for the families that host our visitors.
“The program would not be possible without the willing Birrong Sports families that welcome the participants into their homes and provide them with the experience of a lifetime” says Tyrone Wait, Birrong Sports Football Club President, who acknowledges the time and effort his members put in to allow this program to flourish.