October 20 2017
Gala Fairydean Rovers FC have been flying the flag for Scottish Borders in Europe as part of the ‘Football People‘ campaign which runs across Europe from the 5th-19th October.
‘Football People’ is organised by the FARE Network to promote diversity and inclusion as well as challenge prejudice in the game and this year will see more than 100,000 people take part in activity across 43 countries. The campaign also being supported by UEFA and global stars like Man United’s Paul Pogba. It was created to help groups across Europe tackle discrimination and promote social inclusion through football. Fourteen large grants have been awarded to initiatives in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Scotland and Ukraine.
As part of the Scottish programme Nil by Mouth are taking football writer and host of STV ‘The People’s History’ show Daniel Gray on a tour of clubs across the country to perform readings from his book’ Saturday 3PM’ and write about the positives of the Scottish game. As part of the campaign Daniel and photographer Alan McCreadie attended the recent Scottish Cup tie against Keith FC and will produce a specially commissioned ‘photo essay’ on their trip to Netherdale later in the year.
In addition, players, fans and officials have been posing with ‘Football People’ banners and posting messages of support on social media and in the match day programme to remind everyone that football really is a game for everyone.
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:
‘I’ve been a season ticket holder at GFR for a number of years now and I’ve seen first-hand just how hard all those involved with the club work to make everyone feel welcome. Football People is about promoting football as a vehicle for bringing people together and helping them to get the best out of each another. We are delighted that the club have gotten behind this campaign and we have finally been able to fly the flag for the Borders in European football!’
GFR Secretary Graeme McIver Said:
‘Gala Fairydean Rovers are delighted to have played a part in FARE’s Football People Action weeks to help use football as a way of tackling discrimination and ending exclusion. As a club we have striven to place ourselves at the very heart of the community in our town and have used football as a means to try and break down barriers and encourage participation and integration. We have a Disability Football squad, an Over 50’s Walking Football team, A Ladies and Girls Section, two adult teams and over 300 children and young people involved in our youth and junior pathway. As a club we have established a number of community partnerships with organisations who are working to combat discrimination such as Nil by Mouth, The White Ribbon Campaign and the Equality Network. We have worked closely with local partner organisations to integrate children and young people from Eastern European backgrounds and recently arrived Syrian refugee families.
The club continues to work hard to ensure that we provide a safe and respectful environment for everyone in our community who loves the great game of football regardless of their background and aim to create an environment where racist, sexist, sectarian or homophobic behaviour is not tolerated and respect and understanding is promoted.’