More than 200 newly arrived migrants and refugees are being introduced to AFL football through the AMES Cup ‘Game On’ event next week.

AFL stars from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds Jason Johannisen and Lin Jong will be on hand to teach the finer points of the game at the event at the Whitten Oval on Wednesday May 25.

The AMES Cup event will see eight teams of new arrivals to Australia from across Melbourne come together to play football, make friends and community connections as well as practice English in a social setting.

In partnership with the Western Bulldogs and AFL Victoria, the ‘Game On’ is welcoming more than 120 players and 100 spectators – from 20 different countries – to enjoy a celebration of sport, multiculturalism and friendship.

Bulldogs star Jason Johannisen said he attended the AMES Cup last year and looked forward to being there again in 2016.

“Sport was such a big thing for me when I moved to Australia, and it’s great to see that AFL football is having a similar impact for the AMES Australia students,” Jason said.

The eight teams are made up of English language students from AMES Australia from Footscray, St Albans, Nobel Park, Werribee, Dandenong (2 teams), Box Hill and Flagstaff (City).

Cath Scarth, CEO of migrant and refugee settlement agency AMES Australia, said the event was important in helping to introduce newcomers to Melbourne to a key aspect of the city’s life.

“They say that footy is the social glue that binds Melbourne together so we see events like this as a way of promoting a cohesive society and giving newly arrived people connections into the communities in which they now live,” Ms Scarth said.

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