SoccerFest friends reach for the stars
2018-10-01 12:40:42 -


By Staff Reporter


More than 2,000 people joined members of Ireland’s migrant communities for the annual Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) SoccerFest last month.

Held in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, the 22nd edition was the flagship of Sport Ireland’s European Week of Sport programme, and saw 36 teams with players from over 60 nationalities take part — including a team from Ireland’s Rohingya community based in Carlow, and four teams from direct provision centres.

This year’s Sari Cup was won by Sunday Astro from Tallaght, while the Plate was claimed by Our Lads and the Women’s Respect Cup raised by Football People, representing Football Against Racism Europe (Fare).

“This event is a unique mix of top quality football, fun and free events, and in the past 22 years it has been a space for Ireland’s migrant communities to take another step forward in the path to integration,” said Sari director and former Ireland soccer manager Brian Kerr.

“Every year Sari invites people from direct provision centres and refugee communities across Ireland to the Phoenix Park for SoccerFest, organising transport and meals for players, family and friends.

“It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a day out at the Phoenix Park and meet people from all over Ireland – and all over the world.”

SoccerFest and organisers estimate that since the first event in 1997, more than 7,000 people have participated in the tournament while a further 8,000 have travelled from migrant and minority communities across the country to enjoy the event.

Sports clubs from across the country were also in the Garda Grounds to showcase their sports, from rounders to cricket to tug of war, as part of over 300 sports and physical activity events throughout Ireland from 23-30 September.

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