SOS projects

29th April 2005 at 01:00
Projects being funded by Sense over Sectarianism include:

* Old Firm Alliance: an initiative announced last week. P4 pupils in 128 schools in Glasgow will receive 10 weeks of football coaching from Rangers and Celtic football coaches. In the 11th week, SoS will hold an anti-sectarianism workshop.

* Old Firm United: organised in conjunction with Rangers and Celtic in the lead-up to every Old Firm match.

Two weeks before the matches, five S1 pupils from each of three denominational and three non-denominational schools are selected to take part. In the first week, the 30 pupils go to Celtic Park and do team-building exercises with Tony Russell, a secondary teacher seconded to Celtic FC for educational work. Activities such as mountain-biking in Pollock Park are mixed with examining personal attitudes and anti-sectarian work.

In the second week they go to the Rangers study support centre at Ibrox and, led by Dominic Sharkey, a primary teacher seconded to Rangers FC, do more team-building work and discuss issues such as the rights and responsibilities of football fans.

On match day, they go to the directors' box, see the teams warm up and then watch the match together in an area away from the stands (crowd rules will not allow them to see it together from the stands).

* A football team: Anderston and St Patrick's RC primaries have created Patan FC, a combined football team with its own strip. The initiative came from the janitor at Anderston Primary because of his disgust over some residents throwing stones at pupils "on the other side" when they were playing football.

* A peace garden in Partick: Kelvinhall and St Peter's RC primary schools have taken over a patch of land behind the community halls to create a peace garden together.

* A musical: Wyndford and St Gregory's primaries in Maryhill are creating a musical, based on The Drums of Hampden by Mark Frankland, as part of a United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child project.

* Film-making: 20 secondaries were supported by the independent video company Starfish in making DVDs on the theme of bigotry and friendship.

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