The cultural and ethnic landscape of Ireland has changed significantly over the last 10-15 years, diversity is now an integral part of Irish society. The Intercultural Football Plan and Programme was launched in June 2007 by Ex Irish International Paul McGrath, the subtitle of the Plan ‘Many Voices One Goal’ recognises the value that a more diverse society can contribute to sport and life.
The aims of the Intercultural Football Programme is to promote participation in football, challenge racism and contribute towards a wider process of integration.
Though some of the Intercultural Football Programmes’ events have a focus on participation in football within a club or community programme, such as Club Open Days, schools have been instrumental in making children and
parents aware of these days and have assisted by facilitating the running of after-school
football sessions that link direct to the Club Open Day. The after-school programmes seeks to engage parents as volunteer coaches, to support the programme alongside a qualified and experienced FAI coach. Between 2009-2011 over 125 after-school programmes have been delivered for boys and girls across the country, linking children to over 100 Clubs Open Days and other community football programmes across the country.
The FAI believe that sport can often provide a vehicle for interaction between young people from all backgrounds, and football, while played in the spirit of the game, can be a valued and enriching experience, sadly sport can also be used to promote and reinforce stereotypical ideas and values; in this regard the FAI’s Intercultural Football Programme continues to work extensively with educational projects that campaign against racism and promote the benefits of a more diverse society. One such project, Show Racism the Red Card www.theredcard.ie is supported by the Intercultural Football Programme to roll out presentations to school across the country on the issue of Racism. The Show Racism Project with the support of the FAI, has developed a Classroom based Schools Educational pack and DVD, which is roll out by FAI Local Development Officers throughout the country. In addition to the classroom based session, schools have a football sessions delivered as part of PE.
1. Club Open Days 6-13 year olds
2. After School Programme Primary and Secondary age group
3. Show Racism the Red Card Schools Education Project- Primary and Secondary age group
For further information in relation to the Intercultural Programme please contact:
Intercultural Football Programme National Coordinator
Football Association of Ireland
National Sports Campus