Shankill Women’s Centre, Young People’s Empowerment Project in partnership with Hammer Youth Club, have been working with a group of young men aged 13+ years. They have been looking at sectarianism, homophobia and racism within the arena of sport, in particular Football and Rugby. Each week the young men have participated in group-work sessions or visited a sports venue to view both the match and supporters reactions.
These young men have taken part in a number of group work sessions that were associated with football as this is something that they all had a common interest in, therefore it made it easier to put together the session plans as all the boys had background knowledge on the topic. The group started their sessions discussing sectarianism, as it would be the most common issue that we have, here in Northern Ireland. We then approached the issue of homophobia within sport, as this is a taboo subject, especially within the world of football. The group finished their group work sessions discussing racism, our aim was to finish with this topic as we wanted this to be fresh in their heads for going to Manchester to visit Old Trafford.