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Interface kids get their kicks on the pitch

Resource type: News

Belfast Telegraph |


SUFFOLK Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) have hosted Northern Ireland’s first ever Interface Soccer tournament at Balmoral High School Playing Fields.

Over twenty-five 7-a-side soccer teams from interface areas across Belfast took part in the event and they were joined by local footballing heroes David McAlinden of Cliftonville and Paul McAreavey of Linfield.

This groundbreaking event was organised by SLIG’s management committee to continue their work of promoting positive relationships between the Suffolk and Lenadoon communities and to share their experiences and learnings with other interface areas who want to achieve the same goals.

As part of the day a series of anti-sectarianism and anti-racism workshops took place where participants talked about the issue of sectarianism and racism in football with those closely involved in trying to rid the game of it.

Speaking at the tournament, Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group Chairperson Sean McMahon said: “The event is another milestone for SLIG as we bring together young people from both communities to enjoy a day of soccer while at the same time working to challenge and change attitudes.

“Sport in general and football in particular is an important means of reaching out to young men and women.

“SLIG continues to innovate to deliver in a practical way our recently launched peace building strategy to create a genuinely shared space in Suffolk /Lenadoon over the next five years.

“We’re delighted to be joined by teams from interface areas across Belfast and we’re grateful for the continued support from all our funders in particular Atlantic Philanthropies, CRC and Community Bridges for enabling this event to be staged, the IFA in supporting and contributing to the event and the SLIG staff for their innovative approach in addressing community relations.”

The day drew to a close with question and answer session compered by one of Northern Ireland’s leading football commentators, Jackie Fullerton.