Bohemian FC Football Social Responsibility/Community Strategy Launched
We were delighted to launch our first-ever Football Social Responsibility/Community Strategy at Dublin’s Mansion House today.
The five-year strategy sets out how Bohemian Football Club will assist all in our communities, in particular children, young people, vulnerable adults and those who are new to our communities, or routinely excluded, reach their full potential.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, said:
“I want to commend Bohs, not just for the launch of this strategy today, but their wide-ranging and ongoing work to put social conscience at the heart of their football club."
“We know that football can be a truly positive influence on society, and a place where people can come together. For so many people around the world, it is a common language. Particularly for people who are newly arrived in our communities, however they arrived here and for whatever reasons, sport – and particularly football – is a cultural touchstone.
“The value of sport is not measured in billions of euro and the biggest leagues. It’s in the work that the people are doing, on the weekends and the wet nights, and making sure that everyone, regardless of background or ability, has a chance to take part.
“That sense of community and identity – the sense of belonging – that sport can give people is absolutely paramount. I have seen when I visited Dalymount Park a couple of years ago, as part of the Communities Integration Fund launch, and from the work I have seen done by the GAA in reaching out to and involving newly arrived Syrian refugees.
“This grassroots work demonstrates that diversity and inclusion – welcoming all members our community – makes that community stronger.
“And for all of us who believe in the value of diversity and inclusion, these are worrying times. I want to commend Bohs for the role they have played over recent months in particular at countering some of the racist and xenophobic rhetoric that has reared its head.
“While far right protests have gained the headlines, we are also seeing a strong response from civil society. In Inchicore, in Stoneybatter, in Ballymun, in East Wall, and elsewhere, we have seen events to demonstrate that those communities welcome refugees.
“They don’t get the headlines that the far right do. But given Ireland has welcomed more than 70,000 people fleeing war and persecution in the last year, those events are far more representative of Ireland than the far right.
“That is why I believe that this strategy launch is so timely today. It is another moment in which we can stand up and say that our communities and our sports clubs welcome everyone. That is why I want to extend my congratulations once again to Bohs for this strategy, and wish them the best of luck with it.”
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