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.
To provide opportunities to girls and boys especially those from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) backgrounds across Melbourne:
- to be fit and active, and to enhance both their physical and psychological health and wellbeing
- to develop positive cross-cultural relationships with others, and to feel more connected and empowered to make a positive contribution to our community.
- To improve health, well-being and social cohesion through soccer clinics in partnership with young people and their families in our local communities.
One Ball believes that when a community works together on a shared purpose, greater outcomes can be achieved.
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
The name of the organisation originated from the concept that when Kamal was a young boy growing up in Ethiopia he didn’t have much – no designated playing field, no boots, no uniform and no coaches.
The neighbourhood only had one ball to share amongst all the kinds and Kamal experienced first-hand that all you really need is literally “one ball” to bring everyone together.