Galway GAA Club Welcomes Refugees

Gael na Gaillimh ‘Team Together’ July 14th 2018 Report

Gael na Gaillimh GAA club in Galway City held a ‘Team Together’ event on July 14th 2018. This event was supported by Show Racism the Red Card and involved an open day, where members of our community were invited to come and learn the basic skills and have some fun. The ultimate aim was to promote awareness about the club and promote our inclusive ethos, letting all community members know they were welcome to join.

Specific effort was made in advance to link with socially excluded groups in our community. Namely, those living in direct provision. In order to achieve this, we linked with local initiatives such as ‘Walk the Talk’ a local group aiming to promote social integration of asylum seekers through sport, as well as the University of Sanctuary and ‘Fáilte Refugees’ local groups. Collaboration was also made with Amach, the Galway LGBT volunteer run organisation which represents and advocates on behalf of the LGBTI+ community in Galway city and county. The event was hosted in partnership with Amach and Gael na Gaillimh.

The event itself was a great success. 30 individuals attended which included existing members from Gael na Gaillimh’s women and men’s teams, and many new people from all over the world, including residents from two direct provision centres in Gawlay city. The day began with an introduction to the basic skills of Gaelic football and was followed by a mini tournament. A social event was held in the evening and catering was provided by One World Tapestry, a non-profit organization which aims to create a space for people to come together through food and experience an inclusive community while working with asylum seekers to help them use their own skills through volunteering.

Overall, this partnership are encouraged that this has been a good first step to promote inclusion and invite new members to our club. Moving forward, we will maintain these links and open communication to hopefully encourage people to continue playing with us and invite new members in the future also. We are very grateful for the support of Show Racism the Red Card, without whom, this event would not have happened.

SRTRC are engaging clubs around the country as part of our Club Welcome Refugees programme, which is supported by St Stephen’s Green Trust.  Currently we have 8 clubs who have registered to participate and some of them have already delivered their activities.  We will be posting reports updating on progress of  implementation of this programme

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