ABOUT ONE BALL

One Ball is a community program designed for children and young adults aged between (5-17 years of age). The program provides opportunities to all people especially those from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) backgrounds across Melbourne to play soccer in a social setting.

The soccer-based activities, exercises and games are designed to improve the participants’ fitness and skills, develop their confidence, help them make new friends and foster their sense of belonging.

One Ball strives to support, empower and encourage young people to develop cooperation, self-control, self-discipline, perseverance, respect, integrity and fair play through playing soccer with others and through the mentoring they receive from their coaches.

One Ball also aims to develop positive, cross-cultural relationships by integrating and uniting young people through fun sporting activities – no matter their religion, culture or gender.

OUR MISSION VISION

To provide opportunities for children and young people, especially those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds to play soccer in a safe and inclusive environment

To encourage children and young people to be fit and active, and to support both their physical and psychological health and wellbeing

To foster positive cross-cultural relationships with others, to connect and empower children and young people in making a positive contribution to their community

To support inclusivity and social cohesion by connecting children and young people with their families, our partners and the wider community

why one ball?

Mental health conditions in children and young people are on the rise, and One Ball can help.
1 in 35

Around one in thirty-five young Australians aged four to seventeen experience a depressive disorder.

1 in 7

One in seven young Australians experience a mental health condition.

1 in 14

One in fourteen young Australians (6.9%) aged four to seventeen experience an anxiety disorder.

1 in 3

One in three Australians aged twelve to twenty-five reported high levels of psychological distress - more than three times the rate reported in 2007.

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System

In February 2021, the Victorian Government published the summary and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System. The report describes clearly how children and young people are adversely affected by limited access to services made even harder for those from culturally diverse backgrounds. At One Ball, we recognise the role we can play to build relationships with participants and their families through soccer. Our trusted relationships mean that we can also focus on the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing. You can read about the mental health of our children and young people in the Royal Commission Fact Sheet.

Meet The Founder

Kamal Ibrahim migrated from Ethiopia with his family in 2003 at the age of 12 to escape civil war and conflict.

At that time, he spoke no English and found it difficult settling into life in Australia. He turned to his passion – soccer – as a way of communicating and connecting into his new community.

Kamal’s new life began in Port Melbourne, where he joined the local Port Melbourne Soccer Club. The club provided him with a generous opportunity – they paid for his membership registration, supplied him with his uniform, and most importantly, made him feel welcome and that he belonged.

In Kamal’s own words: “Through football (soccer) I learnt skills; skills that helped me on and off the field. I looked forward to my games each week, my team was my ‘family’, I had a sense of acceptance and a way of communicating without having to speak, I learnt how to work as a team, improve myself as an individual, I was supported in a fun and safe environment. Football has given me opportunities that I never expected. Football gave me the opportunity to represent Australia and Victoria on a national level and I was given the opportunity to travel the world. It gave me that sense of encouragement to do more with my life and that with hard work anything can be achieved.”

Kamal is still a resident in Port Melbourne and continues to play with the Port Melbourne ‘Sharks’ Soccer Club NPL (National Premier League) team.

He has been honoured in the Port Melbourne Soccer Club Hall of Champions due to his achievements which include:

  • Representing Australia with the Young Socceroos on from 2007 – 2010
  • Playing A-League with Melbourne Heart (now known as Melbourne City) in 2010-2012
  • Playing in the NPL for the Senior Men’s Port Melbourne Sharks Soccer Club team from 2013 – present, winning the National Premiers League 2015 Victoria Gold Medal – the NPL’s Best and Fairest award

Our Team

Khaled Taher
Chair of the Board

“I have been with One Ball since the beginning, and we’ve already grown so much. I can’t wait to see what comes next”

Kirsty Elderton
Secretary

“I am new to the board but so impressed by the work being done. As soon as Kamal asked me to join I had to say yes”

Amadu Koroma
Vice Chair

“I play football professionally and coach at One Ball. I know first-hand how important it is to stay physically fit and mentally strong”

Mohammed Beshir
Treasurer

“The thing that makes One Ball so special is the focus on mental health and wellbeing – this is the most important part of our work at One Ball”

Dr Valarie Sands
Subject Matter Expert

“I am delighted to bring my expertise in policy making and health and wellbeing to the One Ball family. ”