SRtRC Networking and Best Practice Sharing Seminar, Donegal
It’s the height of summer and all the schools are closing up but the work at Show Racism the Red Card hasn’t slowed down at all.Between the 12th and 16th of June SRtRC staff and 30 other people from countries such as Germany, Austria, UK, Croatia, Finland met in Aras Ghleann Cholm Cille in Donegal for a networking and best practice sharing seminar in sponsorship from Léargas and the European Youth in Action Programme.The purpose of the seminar was to bring together a group of like minded people to discuss how they deal with the area of discrimination in their countries and how we can work together to create new ways to work better to eliminate it.From Ireland, there were representatives of SRtRC, Pavee Point, Doras Luimni, FAI and Falls Community Council. From Croatia, there was the marketing manager of Rijeka FC and the regional Youth Service. Austria, there were representatives from the Balkan Adria Project which is active in Austria and all six Balkan countries. The Danish Professional Footballers Association, Fairplay Vienna Institute of Dialogue and Cooperation, FIMU and Likkuku from Finland as well as SRtRC Germany participated over the four days.Getting thereThe group met in Dublin city centre on the morning of the 12th to get a bus up to the venue in Donegal. The lengthy bus journey gave everyone the chance to mingle and get to know each other which was a great ice breaker while the non-Irish attendees could admire the beautiful sights of North West Ireland. The group arrived in Donegal at 6:30 and were allowed to settle into their rooms before dinner and then the group meet in the seminar hall for a quick introduction to the schedule for the few days. The group played a few more ice breakers just so everyone was familiar with each other’s names and the organisations that they came from it was also decided to play a game called “Secret Friend” were everyone puts their name in a hat and then pulls another name out and that is their secret friend and they can do nice things for them. The night was then left free for the group to further mingle and listen to some traditional music that was being played to give some more cultural feel.SRtRC and Football 4 PeaceDay 1 – The first day of the seminar kicked off with Garrett Mullan of SRtRC Ireland talking about the work that is being done here in Ireland with schools, youth groups and clubs to combat racism at grass roots and how we can all work together to eliminate it. He discussed the in class workshops that are being done with the aid of the 40 page education pack. He discussed how they youths can be taken through a 6 section, 19min DVD that covers most of the areas and how they can be applied to everyday life. It was then handed over to Laurence Curtis a Tier 2 coach on the Football 4 Peace programme to talk about the work F4P do in conflict areas to bring together people from different backgrounds and build a better understanding of culture and nationalities. F4P teach their message through value based learning and the 5 values that they use are Respect Inclusion, Equity, Trust and Responsibility.The final part of the morning session was left to Eoin McCafferty from SRtRC to explain how they back up the in class workshop with a 60-90min sports hall session that shows the classroom learning from a different angle and perspective. The afternoon was all about seeing the physical aspects of F4P and SRtRC sports games in action with Des Tomlinson the FAI Intercultural Officer leading half the group through SRtRC games and Eoin and Laurence leading the F4P games the groups swapped so as all the groups got a taste of what each does. Finally the evening saw project reports from organisations in Germany and Austria followed then by the group learning 5 Irish dancing dances which were led by 2 local teachers. This was something the group really enjoyed.Learning activities and presentationsDay 2 kicked off on a lighter note with the group being taken to do 2 different activities. The first group got to do a digital treasure hunt around the accommodation while the other group got to go and do Coasteering. This is an activity where the participants put on a wetsuit, life jacket and a helmet and jumped off ledges into the sea and swim to different areas through teamwork and trust. The groups then swapped so each got a taste of the activities. The afternoon was led by Garrett who led all the participants through various scenario games that helped youths to see what it feels like to be discriminated against. The games that were played were “clocks”, “effects of words” and “Bureaucracy”.The evening was led by Andreas Hellstab from SRtRC Germany. He led the participants through a workshop activity they do where they show a racist incident in sport then select a panel and then the group question the panellist like a press conference this way the kids feel the full effect of how racism can happen in sport. The evening was finished off with presentations from all organisations in a market place where they all had a stand and all the participants could walk around and ask questions and find out more about what each person does and how they can work together in the future. There were also full presentations from the Danish, Finish and Croatian participants.EvaluationDay 3 was the last full day of the seminar with the group starting the day with an open session. The purpose of this was to allow a range of topics to be discussed at once around the hall and accommodation. There were 4 discussions at once for 40 minutes and people could move between the topics and gain an insight and understanding as well as share their ideas. The topics were changed 3 times so as to deal with 12 different topics during the morning session and to give a wide variety of discussion and learning. The afternoon session was spent on a cultural excursion across the mountain using team building skills and then an educational tour of a local folk village museum. When the group returned they were all presented with their youth pass certificate along with unveiling their secret friend. The final session for the seminar was an evaluation and where to now session. It was here that the group decided on what steps to take next in the development of new projects and plans of action. To finish the seminar off the group was taken to the Slieve League sea cliffs which are listed as the highest sea cliffs in Europe where they were a loud to climb and discover. Then they were taken to the local pub to listen to a local traditional music session.On Sunday the 16th which was the final day the group got up early and assembled on the bus for the journey home. This time was spent exchanging information and planning some new projects and chatting out the great outcomes of the seminar and the joy of looking forward to the next one.