It is widely recognised that sport can be a tool for social change and the development of new relationships amongst people from different backgrounds. However in Northern Ireland due to the segregation and conflict within and between communities, many sports have been attributed to one section of the community and therefore in cases marginalised other sections of the community from participating.
Inline hockey is unique in that it is a relatively new sport to be introduced within Northern Ireland and is free from any stigma that has been attributed to other sports. Love Hockey Ireland believes that this offers the sport a real opportunity to build relations between local people on a cross community basis and aid the integration of foreign nationals within local communities across the Southern Cluster area.
Some of the key issues within the Cluster area and Northern Irish society in general concerning good relations include:
- Need for more cross community activities at the school level
- Youth disengagement and the threat of involvement in criminal or paramilitary activity
- Need for more programmes and activities which promote ethnic minority involvement and aid the integration of foreign nationals in local communities
- Need for positive community based activities to reduce interface violence, conflict between communities and hate crime
- Need for programmes which promote equality and inclusivity and challenge prejudices and stereotypes
Our S.T.A.R project offers a structured and comprehensive approach that can have a significant impact upon the above identified issues within the Southern Cluster area. Using inline hockey as a medium for delivering upon these needs along with a series of good relations specific workshops and activities, we are confident that the proposal will be a success in terms of developing good relations at a local level. The S.T.A.R programme will engage with BME communities in Armagh, Newry, Criagavon and Banbridge council areas.
We are keen to engage with BME groups across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, For More Information please call our Development Officer on 07779297414 or contact us by email here