Southside groups help refugees

New programme aims to make footie an inclusive sport for local refugees
New programme aims to make footie an inclusive sport for local refugees

Refugees are being offered the chance to play football for free in Glasgow as a way in which to assist with community integration.

In a joint venture, anti-discrimination football side United Glasgow have teamed up with supporters club Glasgow St Pauli to offer the sessions at Holyrood Secondary School.

The sessions, aimed at integrating refugees into society, will be held between 7pm and 8pm every Monday evening after the groups secured funding from charity Over To You Southside to finance sessions through to March next year.

A spokesperson for Glasgow St Pauli said: “Its targeted at anyone over the age of 16 who lives on the south side that doesn’t have access to structured football.

“There are lots of refugees and asylum seekers in the south side that we want to try and integrate into society so that they have a means of socialising with people.”

Using the international language of football, both groups have football coaches who hope to improve the skills of participants while allowing them to feel comfortable in their surroundings.

The venture hopes to attract more numbers after its second session last night.

“We want this to be beneficial for the right people, people we’re looking to target,” the spokesperson added.

“At the first session, one person turned up, so last night was the first time we could do any coaching that was beneficial.”

Glasgow St Pauli added that a pub in Glasgow will help ensure kits are supplied to participants: “Paul McDonnagh from Bon Accord has sponsored the full thing as well. So, once we have enough numbers attending we will supply kits to everyone.”

Further info via Twitter: @GlasgowStPauli or @UnitedGlasgowFC