Dundalk named Intercultural Club of the Year

Dundalk FC claimed top prize in the FAI Intercultural Football Good Practice Awards, as the Lilywhites were named as the 2008 Intercultural Club of the Year.Cobh Ramblers were named as runners-up, with both St. Patrick’s Athletic and Monaghan United rewarded in the Intercultural Event of the Year category. Dundalk were awarded €3,000, Cobh Ramblers were awarded €2,000, with St. Patrick’s Athletic and Monaghan United were awarded €1,000 eachThe awards were given to clubs that had participated and shown good practice as part of a pilot scheme which was funded by the Department of Justice under the National Action Plan Against Racism. The Intercultural Football Standards Pilot was designed to encourage good practice in intercultural and anti-racism activities. This scheme and the awards were instigated by the FAI and its community partners, including Show Racism the Red Card.Representatives of the four clubs were at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown today to receive their awards from Director of the League of Ireland Fran Gavin, FAI Intercultural Officer Des Tomlinson, and Garrett Mullen of Show Racism the Red Card.Dundalk held a series of intercultural events throughout the 2008 League of Ireland season, including a highly successful Africa Day at Oriel Park last May. Over 600 people from around the world attended the event, which celebrated the different cultures present in the town.Cobh Ramblers undertook a series of anti-racism events during the season, including the hugely popular World Refugee Day community festival at St. Colman’s Park last June.St. Patrick’s Athletic and Monaghan United were both rewarded for individual events. The Saints’ efforts in promoting the club to the Polish community during the visit of Wisla Krakow were acknowledged, while the success of Monaghan United’s World Cup Tournament, attended by 150 people of various nationalities, was also singled out for praise.Through the Club Promotion Officer Programme, and in conjunction with Show Racism the Red Card, League of Ireland clubs visit schools and local sports clubs promoting anti-racism messages to young fans.Fran Gavin said: “I am delighted to see how the Club Promotion Officers in the League of Ireland have driven this work. The benefits of this programme have been to help embed clubs into their communities and build links with immigrant communities in particular. It has also served to make the clubs a resource of the community.”Through developing this work, League of Ireland clubs are winning the loyalty not only of those within the new communities but all those touched by the progressive work clubs have been engages in both before and during this programme.”I would like to thank the Department of Justice for their support and funding through the National Action Plan Against Racism and I would encourage all League of Ireland clubs to continue to build on the good work of this programme.”

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