Sport - Try against sectarianism

The merger of schools in Coatbridge and Airdrie has prompted the expansion of an initiative aimed at breaking down barriers between youngsters through rugby.

The Community Youth Rugby initiative, formerly based at Rosehall High, which is now closed, and run by the community-wide Healthy Lifestyle Project, will be available in the areas covered by six secondaries - three Catholic and three non-denominational.

The programme, which is being supported by the Government-funded programme Sense Over Sectarianism, will focus on rugby, youth empowerment and citizenship. It will offer a 40-week rugby training programme and 30 two-hour sessions looking at issues such as respecting diversity and raising awareness of inappropriate materials, language and name-calling, which can contribute towards sectarianism and bigotry.

Sense Over Sectarianism co-ordinator Alison Logan said: "Bringing young people together through rugby will allow them to build positive relationships with each other and this, combined with the workshop sessions on citizenship, gives an ideal setting for young people to explore their values and attitudes in relation to sectarianism and bigotry."

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