Common Ground with the Irish FA Foundation

Common Ground programme with schools | NICRC

Find out what’s been happening this month with the Irish FA Foundation, and see what’s coming up for you to take part in. From the Football versus Sectarianism project aimed at schools, to the Connect programme adding Good Relations to sports – there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved.

The Community Relations Council supports the Irish FA Foundation through its Core Funding Scheme.

Common Ground 

As part of the T:BUC Football versus Sectarianism project, the Irish FA Foundation have been delivering the Common Ground workshop across Northern Ireland. The aim of the workshop is to educate and challenge bias. The Irish FA Foundation has delivered 36 workshops across the project. 

For further information on how your school, youth group or club could benefit, please contact

Common Ground programme with schools | NICRC

Connect Programme 

The first Connect programme of 2024 has just taken place. This brings groups together to take part in a programme that looks at good relation elements, mental health first aid, resilience training, as well as practical sessions. 

The Connect programme also offers a variety of informative sessions, from volunteering opportunities to racism awareness, disability training to refereeing, mental health to anti-sectarianism, and a tour of the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. This can be tailored to offer a bespoke experience to best suit the needs of the group.

There are two more Connect programmes to start in March 2024.

Connect can be delivered to any community group or football club. Anyone interested should get in touch with Andrew Hardy by email:

Connect Programme | NICRC

UEFA Refugee Programme

As part of the Irish FA UEFA Refugee Programme, there has been six recreational football centres set up across Northern Ireland. The proposal of these centres is to offer football sessions in a safe and enjoyable environment. Centres also offer the opportunity for education workshops and volunteering opportunities. 

Refugees also have the chance to represent Northern Ireland at the UEFA Unity Cup. This tournament pits teams comprised of male and female refugees, as well as local amateur players, against other nations. 

The programme also looks to aid integration into participants’ host communities through Good Relation Tournaments with both local participants and refugee teams. 

UEFA Programme | NICRC

Further Info

Find out more about the Irish FA Foundation.