PRESS RELEASE

 

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018

 

GAA and Football clubs awarded for promoting integration of refugees

 

– Minister David Stanton presents five clubs with awards –

– Show Racism the Red Card announces call for applications for 2018 Club Welcome programme –

 

Five sports clubs were recognised today (23.01.18) for their commitment to promoting the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers. 

 

Two GAA clubs and three football clubs received awards, having successfully completed the ‘Club Welcome’ programme developed by the anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card.

 

Through ‘Club Welcome’, Show Racism the Red Card supports activities aimed at increasing the participation of refugees and asylum-seekers in grassroots sports.  The five clubs that participated in the programme’s pilot phase were:

 

 

Representatives from each of the clubs were presented with awards by David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, at a special event in Dublin today.  At the event, Show Racism the Red Card announced that ‘Club Welcome’ will be expanded this year, and called on sports clubs nationwide to register their interest in participating.

 

Sport: A Powerful Tool for Integration

Speaking at the event, Garrett Mullan, Director of Show Racism the Red Card, said: “Sport is a powerful tool for social integration and inclusion.  It can be an accessible and enjoyable way for migrants to connect with their new communities and begin to forge friendships and bonds. 

 

Sometimes, however, people who have just arrived in a new place need a little encouragement and support to join a local club.  They may feel there are cultural, financial or language barriers.  The Club Welcome programme is aimed at breaking down these barriers and making it as easy as possible for refugees and asylum-seekers to experience what their local clubs have to offer. 

 

“At the moment, refugees and asylum-seekers are under-represented in Irish sport – but this is changing.  As an organisation that has long championed the power of sport to break down barriers, we are heartened to see policymakers recognising the role sport can play in integration.  Both at national government level and within the EU, there is growing recognition of the important links between sport and integration.

 

We developed our Club Welcome programme in 2016 on a pilot basis, and we are delighted to be announcing its expansion today.

 

Also speaking at the event, Minister David Stanton said:

I commend Show Racism the Red Card and these five clubs on the excellent work they did last year in bringing refugees and asylum-seekers together with local sports communities to help promote the integration of migrants within our society. "
"Undoubtedly, sport has the potential to break down barriers between people from different cultures and to build strong links within communities and this is acknowledged thorough the inclusion of specific actions relating to sport and the funding of local community initiatives in the Government’s Migrant Integration Strategy.    I wish Show Racism the Red Card every success as they seek to expand the Club Welcome programme further over the coming year.

 

Call for Applications for 2018 Programme

Sports clubs interested in participating in Club Welcome are being invited to apply now through the Show Racism the Red Card website, www.theredcard.ie

 

Ten clubs will be selected to participate in the programme this year, receiving a package of support, including:

 

 

The pilot phase of the Club Welcome programme was supported by the Community Foundation and The Ireland Funds, while the 2018 expansion of the programme is supported by the St. Stephen’s Green Trust.

 

ENDS

 

Contact: Martina Quinn / Darragh McGirr, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 01-5582151 / 087-6522033, Email: media@alicepr.com .

 

Notes to Editors: 

About Show Racism the Red Card 

Show Racism the Red Card is an international anti-racism charity that was founded in the UK in 1995 with a £50 donation from Newcastle United’s Shaka Hislop.  The Irish branch was established in 2006.  The aim of Show Racism the Red Card is to harness the high profile of sportspeople to combat racism.  The organisation works to produce anti-racism educational resources, and to educate young people through workshops and coaching activities.  

 

Further information is available at: www.theredcard.ie, @theredcard.