Our Role in the Community

 

Belfast Telegraph, 5th August 2011 reported;

‘Children from both sides of a Belfast interface which erupted in ugly scenes of violence recently will take part in a special soccer academy with Liverpool sporting hero Kenny Dalglish.  Images of rioters attacking police in the Newtownards Road area of east Belfast were broadcast around the world in June. 

Northern Ireland charity, Happy Children, who aim to promote harmony and equality between young people, has arranged for 80 Catholic and Protestant children from that area to come together and play football’.  

Our response to conflict in the community:

Our partnership with Liverpool Football Club means we can use the brand and experience of the Liverpool Football Academy to give children from any area, ability, race, religion, gender and so on  an opportunity to learn and develop skills.   We invited those 80 children to be a part of a large three day event at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown which was a great success. 

The events of June in the Newtownards Road area of Belfast inspired us to do something to encourage harmony and peace in the community, to show those involved that they can work as a team and play side-by-side.  Some of the community leaders from the area commented afterwards our initiative was ‘the best’ they had ever taken part in.  Everyone got something out of the experience with religion and political views seemingly forgotten over the three days as the children were integrated into teams suitable for their age - each child was blissfully unaware of their counterparts’ religion.

Children sporting various soccer jerseys joined in equally, regardless of whether or not Liverpool is their chosen team outside the event. 

These cross community events have been backed by local authorities and now make up part of our LFC academy events throughout the year.

Our efforts and use of our partnership with Liverpool is not limited to community relations.  It was one of our first projects using the Liverpool Football Academy for a greater good which we will endeavour to do throughout our partnership.