Location and general information

Location Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
Start date 12/05/2022
End date 12/04/2023
Cost of the project €130,000
Foundation funding €85,000
Project identifier 20220150
Partners Rio Ferdinand Foundation
Categories Access to Sport - Employability - Healthy lifestyle - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have increasingly diverse demographics, with migrants, asylum seekers and minority communities becoming more visible in society. This has caused some issues within working-class areas, with increase in hate crimes against minorities, e.g. 48% of hate crime in Northern Ireland is directed at communities who make up 2% of the population. Increasing tensions caused by Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol are also causing conflict, with discussions on culture and identity increasingly dominating the debate and causing discord in border counties.

Project goals

  • Build strong, ongoing relationships through football across the divides of race/ethnicity/culture and the Northern Ireland/Ireland border
  • Train young people from all communities to become leaders
  • Encourage young leaders to work together to deliver social initiatives that promote learning and common objectives to tackle racism, division and inequality
  • Oversee the cooperation of young leaders with stakeholders and decision-makers to address these issues
  • Develop a best practice model that will attract sustainable mainstream funding to deliver long-term transitional change in the target communities

Project content

Our project brings communities together through the sport of football, providing a platform to build relationships and friendships. From this platform we encourage young people to work together and achieve accreditation while delivering social action projects that address racism, division and inequality within their communities and across borders and boundaries. We will encourage young people to share the lessons they learn with decision-makers and stakeholders.


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