A Clondalkin football club was recognised last week for their commitment to promoting the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers.
Booth Road Celtic FC was one of five GAA and football clubs to receive an award, 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.
As part of the programme, Booth Road Celtic FC 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.
Club representatives Colm Kernan and Suzanne Finnegan were presented with the award by David Stanton, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration.
Show Racism the Red Card have announced that ‘Club Welcome’ will be expanded this year and have called on sports clubs nationwide to register their interest in participating.
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.
“I would like to commend Booth Road Celtic FC and all the other clubs here today for the encouragement and support they have shown to refugees and asylum-seekers, and for making it as easy as possible for them to experience what their local clubs have to offer.”
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.