Mariners help spread Harmony Day message

Central Coast Mariners FC will aim to share the 2012 Harmony Day message that ‘Everyone Belongs’ to a wide audience, with the initiatives' logo freshly emblazoned across their AFC Champions League kit.

MILLIONS of Australians will tomorrow celebrate Harmony Day - a day designed to recognise Australia-s cultural diversity coinciding with the United Nation-s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

And tomorrow evening, Central Coast Mariners FC will aim to share the 2012 Harmony Day message that ‘Everyone Belongs- to a wide audience, with the initiatives logo freshly emblazoned across their AFC Champions League kit.

With the Mariners- clash with Japan-s Nagoya Grampus expected to draw a television viewership in the tens of millions across Asia and indeed the world, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship-s (DIAC) message could not be more fitting.

Mariners Chairman, Mr Peter Turnbull, said it is a great to partner with a community cause so easily linked to the world game.

“Driving positive messages into the community has been core to the Mariners essence from day one,” Turnbull said.

“As our profile grows through continued national success & international competitions, the opportunity to highlight messages that are relevant on local and global scales is very exciting & indeed a responsibility we take very seriously.”

Players from Australia, Japan, Brazil, England, Colombia and New Zealand are set to share the field in a truly global football affair at Central Coast Stadium tomorrow evening. Brought together by the beautiful game in a way that few other sports can, Harmony Day-s aim is for all Australians, all people, to celebrate what we have in common.

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said this year Harmony Day was a celebration of the important role that sport plays in bringing together Australians from all walks of life.

“The 2012 Harmony Day theme of Sport - play, engage, inspire recognises the important role and positive influence that sport has in our multicultural nation,” Senator Lundy said.

“Sport brings people together to share in a mutual passion or strive for a common goal.

“Involvement in sport whether as a participant, volunteer, spectator or administrator unites people of all ages and fosters a sense of belonging, acceptance and an understanding of other cultures.

“I am pleased that this Harmony Day we-re focusing on the power of sport to build bridges of understanding and respect - sport is a tremendous platform for inclusion," she said.

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach, Graham Arnold added: “We are proud to be ambassadors for Harmony Day and hope that having the initiative on our shirt helps spreads the message that everyone belongs. It certainly is a perfect campaign for our club to support as we continually attempt to create a supportive, team environment built on community values at the Mariners.”

Harmony Day began in 1999 and since then a wide variety of groups including sports organisations, community groups, local, state and federal government agencies, schools and businesses have staged more than 25,000 Harmony Day events.

Harmony Day is held on 21 March every year.