The League of Ireland has a responsibility to encourage inclusion within the sport, which it delivers through the following campaigns.
Football & Social Responsibility in the League of Ireland
Football is one of the biggest sports in Ireland and the League of Ireland represents the highest levels of the game in the country. The global appeal of football means that it has enormous potential as a tool to promote and develop social value. Football can help to encourage active citizenship, promote volunteerism, create a sense of “community” and civic pride and improve social cohesion by encouraging togetherness, shared values and a shared sense of purpose. As such, we have a responsibility to encourage our football clubs to operate in an ethical, inclusive and sustainable manner.
As a Sustainable Development Goals Champion, the FAI via its “More than a Club” Football & Social Responsibility programme aims to assist League of Ireland clubs to develop their community engagement capacity and offers an exciting social development which clubs can embrace to the benefit of their local communities and the club’s own growth and development ambitions. The League of Ireland has a responsibility to encourage social responsibility, inclusion and sustainable practices within our game, which it delivers through the following campaigns.
Waterford FC Autism initiatives
Waterford FC is making a positive contribution towards making Waterford Ireland’s first Autism Friendly City. Waterford FC delivers an Autism Friendly Match Day Experience (AFMDE) which includes a user-friendly designated entrance and reserved seating, the services of a dedicated match day Club Ambassador and access to a “Quiet Room” should any of the children attending require some time out. Waterford FC also delivers regular football sessions for groups of children with autism every week at Ozier Park, Waterford.
The Waterford FC Autism Friendly Match Day Experience launch event at the RSC.
Several LOI Clubs across the country are delivering this gentler version of the beautiful game aimed at adults over 55 years of age.
Several clubs are hosting social groups at their stadium facilities designed to combat social isolation and re-connect older people. The Football Memories programme is also dementia friendly.
Double Club Numeracy / Physical Literacy programme
This is a primary schools’ programme which delivers 45 minutes of numeracy through football in the classroom followed by 45 minutes of football training in the school recreational facilities.
The Bohemian Way – Climate Action project
The Bohemian Way is supported by the Creative Climate Action Fund which focuses on bringing a creative approach to illustrating and making the changes needed to fight climate change.
The Bohemian Way is a journey through Dublin 7 from the Gate Cottage at the Phoenix Park to Dalymount Park. It introduces people to the history of Bohemian FC, the history of Dublin and the story of a future climate transition. The route is filled with songs, poems and art pieces created by artists like John Francis Flynn, Dorothy Smith and Lewis Kenny.
The Spark – Climate Action Project
The Spark serves as the capacity-building strand of the Bohemian Climate Cooperative – a place based and community led initiative to enable ambitious climate action and local wealth building. The Spark is grounded in the principles of inclusion, participation and equity and has three primary aims:
To inspire and empower the community through capacity development so that the membership of the Bohemian Climate Cooperative can grow and become sufficiently diverse as to be sustainable.
To co-create learning programmes with participants through iterations of pilot projects in order to ensure that initiatives meet the needs of the community and are accessible to all.
To share learnings through the development of a toolkit that will detail both the Bohemian Climate Cooperative initiatives and the iterative training development with the aim of replication in other communities.