Good Practice

Sport Against Racism, Ireland (SARI)


Over the last three years, SARI youth coaches – of ethnic minority backgrounds themselves – have travelled across all 23 counties in Ireland to deliver football training workshops designed to last up to 75 minutes and focus on addressing all forms of discrimination.

The workshops targeted for youth start with discussions about discrimination, what it is, its characteristics and how it is displayed. Children play a set of games where they are divided into teams and team captains are taught are about leading by example, positive attitude on the pitch,

be supportive of others. Youth are then introduced to Football 3/Fair-play football methodology, which is based on the principle that the basic values of fair-play, gender equality, teamwork and respect are just as important as the football skill.

After the game is finished the teams award points to each other based on several points: Did the opposition team play by the rules? Did the opposition team play fair? etc.

The workshop ends with penalty shootouts. Having played fair they can give all forms of discrimination the boot.

SARI also organises football matches between League of Ireland clubs and Direct Provision Centres (DPC), refugee communities and other socially excluded groups. The idea behind is that the club hosts the match at their home stadium to create stronger links with their communities and encourage positive integration.

“The anti-discrimination football training workshops were a huge success with a big take-up from primary schools;

with some even requesting a return visit. Feedback from teachers was very positive and participants responded very positively to the main themes of sexism, racism and homophobia.”

Perry Ogden, SARI chairman

Main outputs

  • Create awareness around discrimination among the youth by delivering football training workshops
  • Bring together people from different ethnic communities and refugee backgrounds
  • Encourage participation of refugees and asylum seekers in football
  • Engage clubs and local communities
  • To create awareness about diversity during the Football People weeks

Football People travelling road-show

Name of Initiative: Football People travelling road-show

Type & venue of activity: Travelling road-show across Ireland delivering football training workshops and organising matches in primary schools, youth and refugee centres.

Target group: Youth, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Topic addressed: Social inclusion, racism, homophobia, sexism.

Values created: Equality, tolerance, dialogue.

Project’s impact: Since it was first implemented in 2015, the initiative has directly engaged over 2,790 people including primary school students, Direct Provision Centre (DPC) residents, spectators, participants, coaches and teachers.

The initiative is popular among Irish schools, where the workshops are run.

Through this work, more refugees and asylum seekers living in DPC’s have been linked to their local clubs and continued football sessions.