Football for all - Creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture


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Presentation by Michael Boyd (Head of Community Relations, Irish Football Association, Northern Ireland) on the occasion of the EESC and Fondation de Corse - Umani conference on Non-violence, a new way forward for the 21st century? in Bastia, Corsica on 14 June 2013

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  • Why Football? Football – Most popular sports enjoyed by all communities in NI, and Internationally Appeals to all communities and also to newly arrived communities International language of football Why IFA? IFA as governing body has reach through: 1 – international 2 –Domestic 3-Grassroots -able to use the power of football as a hook to address societal issues – such as sectarianism/racism/exclusion - from marginalised groups =Power of football and reach of football – ability to engage with all of community in NI
  • Partners page
  • Set the Scene Early 1990s Reflection of society No sponsor –crowds of 4000 =Peace funding Engagement with fans -Able to Support -fan driven initiative NOW Sell out crowds, diverse crowd Fun safe inclusive environment
  • Football for all - Creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture

    1. 1. Creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture Michael Boyd Corsica June 2013 football for all
    2. 2. ‘Troubles’ •Late 1960s –1998 (‘Good Friday Agreement’) •Constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between the Protestant unionist and Catholic nationalist communities in Northern Ireland •Political and military (or paramilitary) dimensions. ‘Setting the Scene’ – NI Context • In 2013, there are 99 interface areas divided by peace walls Peace Walls
    3. 3. Divided CommunitiesDivided Communities
    4. 4. Northern Ireland is deeply divided post conflict society. In the last 12 months: -531 racist incidents recorded -995 sectarian incidents recorded -137 homophobic incidents recorded -78,686 antisocial behavior incidents recorded The Northern Ireland Executive is the administrative branch of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is answerable to the Assembly and was established according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which followed the Good Friday Agreement. The Northern Ireland Executive consists of a First and Deputy First Minister and 11 other Ministers. Just announced 500 million pounds being invested into tackling community relations over next 5 years!
    5. 5. To develop, foster and promote ‘football for all’ in Northern Ireland IFA Vision Statement
    6. 6. • Qualify for a major tournament • Deliver the new national stadium and improve other facilities • Create a healthy domestic game at all other levels, i.e. intermediate, junior, women’s, boys, schools • Build a culture of lifelong participation in football • Reach beyond the game – use the power of football for health, education, peace and social development IFA Long Term Objectives
    7. 7. FFA Message “FFA are building their programme of work through involving key partners across all levels of the game” “FFA is transforming NI football, making the sport of football more vibrant, dynamic and inclusive at all levels” “FFA is research led and focused on measuring the social and economic impact” “FFA is focused on building the capacity of our staff, clubs, fans and volunteers”
    8. 8. FFA Partners
    9. 9. International Areas of Work •FFA International Fans Strategy •FFA Events Programme o FARE Week o Euro Fans Team o Annual Women’s Conference o Workshops o CR Training • Research and Evaluation • Supporter Charters • Annual International Fans Seminar
    10. 10. • Club Development o IFA Club Mark o Licensing o Community Engagement • Peace III o Intergenerational o Dealing with the Past o Youth Forum Domestic Areas of Work • Volunteer Policy and Development • FFA Accreditation Courses • IFA Staff Training • Research and Evaluation
    11. 11. Grassroots Areas of Work • Street League (homeless) • Women’s World United (intercultural) • Limestone United (anti-violence) • World United (intercultural) • Game of 3 Halves (value based coaching) • Belfast United Forum (interface peace plan)
    12. 12. Belfast United Forum • 14 groups • Belfast wide • Intervention Summer Programme • Community Engagement, Sport and Social Inclusion • 60 participants • Over 20 nationalities • Deliver SRTRC Training • Weekly training sessions World United
    13. 13. Limestone United • 50 participants • Males aged 11 – 25 years • Interface area of North Belfast Street League • 92% players have a new motivation for life • East Belfast Mission, FFA, BCSDN and UEFA • Homeless people, ex-offenders, drug and alcohol dependent individuals, long-term unemployed, refugees and asylum seekers. • PSNI, FFA and North Belfast Youth Centres
    14. 14. Game of Three Halves • Peace Players, Ulster Rugby, Ulster GAA and IFA • Power of sport to promote respect and diversity Aims: -Use sport to promote respect for diversity and positive community relations -Encourage young people to play sport in a fun, safe and inclusive environment -Create new friendships and encourage young people to get active
    15. 15. Women’s World United • 30 participants • Over 20 nationalities • Weekly training sessions • Community Integration Club Community Engagement • Community Relations Strategies • Community Development and Sustainability • Capacity Building
    16. 16. • Football for All Evaluation (Wilson & ICR, 2010) • Football for All Evaluation (Wilson & ICR, 2011) • Transforming Northern Ireland (Bell, 2011) • Barriers to Inclusion (Hargie, Somerville & Ramsey, 2011) • Baseline Report on IFA Community Relations Club Community Development (CENI, McDonnell, 2012) • Economic Evaluation of Football for All (Helen Matthews Consulting, 2012) Research and Evaluation
    17. 17. Economic Evaluation Findings International Level •80% of all football fans agreed IFA works for all sides of the community •86% of all football fans agreed IFA have actively tried to eradicate sectarianism from football over the past 4 years   Domestic Level •Activities which seek to maximise the appeal of domestic clubs, address unacceptable behaviour and promote a positive image of local football •Club Community Audits   Grassroots Level •Actively addressing sectarianism and racism, raising awareness of opportunities in football and increasing participation at the grassroots level  
    18. 18. EU Regional Policy Commissioner Hahn said: "Over the last ten years, the Football For All Project has transformed the atmosphere at Northern Ireland international football games creating a fun, safe and family friendly environment. Bringing together key partners from both the private and public sectors, the project has played a central role to get real progress in community relations in football. I am proud that EU funding has been essential for its success. Not only has Football For All made a meaningful difference locally, but we also see it as a model which other countries around Europe can learn from and aspire to."
    19. 19. • EU Peace Programme Awards (1999 – 2014) • Brussels International Supporters Award (2006) • Mama Intercultural Award (2007) • Excel Leadership Award (2009) • PSNI ‘Unite Against Hate’(2010) FFA Recognition Jim Rainey, from the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs, receives a Football For All award from Northern Ireland football legend Billy Hamilton, for services to NI football.
    20. 20. Contact Information: Michael Boyd Head of Community Relations 07894614328 02890 669458 #footballforallNI