An engaging seminar aimed at promoting good relations through football was held with local coaches, youth leaders and educators from community and voluntary organisations across Derry in the City Hotel, on Wednesday.
With support from PEACE III, the Irish Football Association’s, Football for All project ‘Looking Back to Move Forward’ hosted a seminar entitled ‘Using Football to Break Down Barriers’ highlighted practical ways in which football can be used as a hook to promote positive engagement and break down barriers.
It highlighted the positive role the sport of football can have for individuals, communities and wider society and looked at how projects in the North West have used football to improve communication and engagement.
The seminar provided a platform for groups and organisations to showcase the good work that has been on-going in the North West in recent times allowing for information sharing and networking for future projects.
Mayor of Derry, Councillor Kevin Campbell gave a welcoming address at the event.
“Watching from the terraces, you get a real sense of how football can unite and indeed in some cases divide opinion; therefore I believe it’s of huge importance that initiatives such as the one being highlighted today are supported for the good of the game and its supporters, and indeed the wider community,” he said.
Attendees heard contributions from the Northern Street League, Teenage Kickz and Football4PEACE projects who all provided an insight into how each initiative has used football to break down barriers. Michael Boyd Head of the Community relations at the IFA then outlined what support and resources are available for groups who want to use football as tool to promote good relations.
The new exiting ‘Football for All’ educational resource was also launched at the seminar by John Peto of the Nerve Centre. The resource is curriculum mapped for KEY Stage Two but can be adapted for a variety of groups for use both inside and outside the classroom.
The seminar ended with a questions and answers session and every attendee left the event with a copy of the ‘Football for All’ resource which would allow them to implement new ideas straight away.
IFA Football for All Development Officer, Sarah Keys said,: “The IFA is committed to developing and supporting organisations that use football as a tool to promote good relations in the city. The event has showcased some of the great work on-going in a city and the Football for All team is here to help support any groups that would like to use football to engage hard to reach groups.”
The Irish Football Association’s, Football for All project ‘Looking Back to Move Forward’ is supported by the EU PEACE III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Community Relations Council/Phobal consortium.
For more information please contact, Sarah Keys 07730763849 firstname.lastname@example.org