Soccer is a game of three halves
2017-07-05 11:20:18 -
By Leah Murray

Sports Against Racism in Ireland (Sari) recognised World Refugee Day on 20 June by hosting a ‘football3’ tournament at the Law Society of Ireland on Dublin’s Blackhall Place.

Primary pupils from fifth and sixth classes from schools in Laytown (An Spioraid Naomh), Newbridge (Educate Together) and Clonee (Scoil Ghráinne CNS) took part in the 16-team competition in the new mixed-gender sport, which combines street soccer with cross-cultural education.

This is the first year Sari has held a major football3 event, an extension of the workshops it hosts in schools across Ireland in which children learn how to handle discrimination through sport.

The game is played in ‘three halves’, in the terminology of Berlin-based Street Football World. In the first ‘half’, teams meet to discuss what rules they want to play by. 

The second ‘half’ consists of the actual game, while in the third half the teams meet again to discuss how the match went, and award points to their opponents for quality of play, good sportsmanship and other factors. 

Teams in the tournament received three points for winning, two points for a draw, and one point for participating.

“It’s just a different way of scoring the game,” said Sari director Perry Ogden, who notes that a unique aspect of the code is that there is no referee, instead a mediator who participates only if absolutely necessary.

“It’s really encouraging the kids to take responsibility for their own actions,” Ogden added. “We’re finding it’s a really great tool because it shouldn’t always be about winning, it’s about taking part and respect and fair play.”

Alongside its Soccernites and Hijabs and Hat-Tricks programmes for young men and women aged 14-18 respectively, Sari also offers a young leaders programme where participants learn about football3, how to mediate and compete in national and international events. 

This summer Sari has groups traveling to Poland and Germany, and on 2 July will host a World Refugee Day Fair Play Cup in partnership with the UNHCR in Ireland - pushed back from its usual date in June so as not to clash with Ramadan.
TAGS : World refugee day Sports Against Racism football soccer
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