The Glentoran Academy U17 squad today, Saturday 29th January 2011, participated in an innovative ‘United Through Sport’ educational workshop and exhibition match aimed at promoting social inclusion and cultural integration through sport.
The ‘United Through Sport’ workshop and exhibition match, delivered by Sport Against Racism in Ireland (SARI) in partnership with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, aims to raise an awareness of race issues, and build, develop, promote equality and good race relations.
The interactive workshop featured a series of DVD presentations and discussions that demonstrate that the wider sports community is made up of many different people of various cultural backgrounds and that sport can be used a positive tool to promote peace and reconciliation.
The Glentoran Academy U17 squad then got the opportunity to participate in an exhibition match against Insaka-Glentoran Academy – an intercultural football club based in Dublin made up mainly of players from the African Diaspora – which is supported by the Glentoran Community Trust and Glentoran Football Club.
Ken McCue, International Officer for Sport Against Racism in Ireland, said: “Since visiting Belfast in 1967 to watch Glentoran play Benfica in the European Cup and my brother subsequently going on to represent the club in the 1980s, I have always had a strong affiliation with Glentoran and its supporters.
“I am now particularly proud to have had the opportunity to work with this great club to deliver the ‘United Through Sport’ workshop and exhibition match and further develop Glentoran’s partnership with Insaka AFC.”
Russell Lever, Community Relations Officer for Glentoran Football Club, said: “We are delighted that the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and SARI agreed to deliver a workshop to our U17 Academy Squad that will aim to raise awareness of race issues and promote social inclusion.
“Glentoran Football Club recognises the importance of tackling intercommunity prejudice where people of all sides of the community can come together without fear of racial or sectarian discrimination.”