Black and minority ethnic (BME) women and children participated in sports and healthy living training.
Multi-ethnic Sports and Cultures NI (MSCNI) organised the event with funding from the Community Relations Council (CRC).
MSCNI was established in 2016 because “there were very few women for BME communities who participated in sporting activities.”
“There are many reasons why BME communities do not engage in sport,” explained Jahswill Emmanuel, MSCNI chairperson and founder.
“Women from BME communities do not really engage in sports due to many reasons, such as religious beliefs, funds, child minding and time,” he said. “MSCNI was founded to provide programs and events that were adapted and tailored to their needs.”
The organisation first introduced handball because it had simple rules and would make it easier for all to participate. They also held it indoors to adapt it to those with religious beliefs.
“This program was a success,” Jahswill said. “We then encouraged them to integrate better into society by introducing other local well known sports.”
MSCNI made partnerships with Ulster GAA, Peacemakers International, the IFA and others.
“In having these organisations,” Jahswill continued, “we were able to offer our women a wider variety of sports.”
All the partner organisations attended an event on 7 March 2020. The Multi-Ethnic women's Friendship Sports and Cultural project was in commemoration of International Women's Day.
“We provided taster sessions of each sport,” Jahswill said. “We also had motivational speakers highlighting issues with domestic abuse and violence at home. There were also cultural dancers and music.”
Feedback from the event highlighted that women from BME groups, as well as their children and families, wanted more sporting events.
Jahswill believes that the funding sourced from CRC both aided and facilitated MSCNI to develop and successfully run this project.
“It’s because of CRC funding that we are able to tackle racism, isolation and other difficulties that rise in BME communities,” he explained. “CRC enabled us to encourage integration within all communities in Northern Ireland.
“Funding has encouraged more women from our BME groups to attend our programs, providing them a better understanding of other cultural backgrounds present in Northern Ireland.”
MSCNI received funding through the Community Relations Council’s CR/CD scheme. Learn more about our CR/CD scheme.