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:
Booth Road Celtic FC, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, which invited residents of the Towers Accommodation Centre to an open coaching evening with the FAI and facilitated the participation of children from the Centre in under-age teams;
Emo Celtic, Co. Laois, which provided free access to the club’s all-weather facilities for residents of Montague House and gave free membership to the children of asylum-seekers;
Sligo Rovers, which delivered free weekly coaching sessions for residents of Globe House, and organised friendly games between the residents and local clubs;
Ballinacurra Gaels GAA Club, Limerick, which hosted a number of ‘Have A Go’ days targeted at the children of refugees and asylum-seekers; and
Ballaghaderreen GAA Club, Co. Roscommon, which organised a blitz and a trip to Croke Park for last year’s Roscommon v. Mayo fixture for Syrian refugees living locally.The club now has Syrian refugees training with its Under-18s football team on a regular basis.
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:
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:
A grant of €400 to support local activities aimed at promoting integration;
Anti-racism education resources; and
Ongoing support, information, advice and useful contacts from Show Racism the Red Card.
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.
Contact: Martina Quinn / Darragh McGirr, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 01-5582151 / 087-6522033, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.