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Sport - A Tool For Social Inclusion

23 September 2011

Breaking down barriers with ethnic minorities through sport will be the focus of discussions hosted by the University of Ulster today.

Key players from sporting organisations across Northern Ireland will come together at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast today to discuss how sport can be used as a tool for social inclusion with minority groups.

The objective of the meeting is to share knowledge and to discuss key principles which will feed into a wider EU network, highlighting the good practices which organisations in Northern Ireland have been developed.

Representatives from various sports governing bodies, community groups and ethnic minority focused agencies attended the ‘National Meeting on Social Inclusion of Migrant Youth Through Sport’

This event is part of an ongoing EU granted project, ‘JoinIn’, a network involving policy makers, researchers and professionals who want to improve ‘social inclusion of migrant youth through sports’.

Kyle Ferguson from the University’s Ulster Sports Academy said: “The project is an opportunity to build and transfer knowledge throughout Europe, sharing good practice and adopting common themes and principles for the future development of networks of how sport can be used to promote social inclusion targeting migrant youth.

“In Northern Ireland we already run a number of social inclusion programmes, this meeting provides an opportunity to build future collaborations regionally and across Europe while also learning from each other.”

The EU project, which began in January 2010, is running in eight countries until June 2012.

The University’s partner organisations include: Netherlands Institute for Sports and Physical Aactivity; Universidad de Extremadura, Madrid; South East Wales Racial Equalty Council, Newport; Federazione Italiana, Aurobica E fitness, Rome; Deitsche Sportjugend (German Sports Youth (DSJ), Berlin; Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sport und Körperkultur Östereich, Vienna and Waterford Institute for Technology.