AN award-winning program has returned this winter to fire up newly arrived migrants on the football field.
Training is in full swing for the six western suburbs teams in next week's Western Bulldogs 5th CALDplay (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) Football Carnival.
About 150 students up to age 65 representing more than 25 nationalities are taking part in the event run by the Bulldogs in partnership with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
MFB district multicultural liaison officer Colin Campbell says the event is a chance to break down the uniform barrier.
During training participants complete an obstacle course reflecting how to respond to a fire emergency in the home.
"When they physically do the obstacle course with the fire safety message, it's a much better way to remember it than by learning it in a classroom," Mr Campbell said.
Last year the Bulldogs and MFB partnership won a Community Multicultural Award for Fire Awareness.
The carnival caps off the six-week introductory football program for students enrolled in English classes at Footscray, StAlbans and Werribee Adult Multicultural Education Services, Wyndham Community and Education Centre, Yarraville Community Centre and Victoria University Sunshine.
Mr Campbell said the program, which is an introduction to AFL for many, was a great way to connect with the migrant community.
Four out of five participants have lived in Australia for less than five years.
The Refugee Week event is at the Whitten Oval in Footscray, 10am next Wednesday.