- Leicester City in the Community launched Amnesty International UK’s Football Welcomes Community Project earlier this month
- LCitC works with local charities to help people settle in Leicester
- Coaches from Leicester City’s charitable arm also host football-related sessions
- 30 per cent of current participants are female
Amnesty launched the Football Welcomes Community Project initiative to enable football clubs to support new arrivals through using the power of football.
LCitC works with a number of Leicester-based charities, who support refugees and people seeking asylum by delivering football-related sessions.
Nour, who attends After18, has seen many positives of the football sessions provided by Leicester City.
Speaking at this month’s launch, Nour said: “When I started these sessions, the coaches said, you can play, it is not only for boys.
“I really started to enjoy it – it is something that means a lot to me.
Leicester City in the Community with Football Welcomes
Participants are able to make friends and enjoy playing football during the sessions.
“We come from a really tired routine of studying, so when we come to these football sessions, it takes that energy from you and you meet new people, which is nice.”
Sarah Jones, LCitC’s Inclusive Practice Coach, works closely with participants on the Football Welcomes Community Project.
She highlighted the impact Nour has had on her peers and how much football has benefitted her life since she started coming to the sessions.
Jones said: “Nour was one of the original girls that came down to our first sessions with After18.
“This was over a year ago and the idea was to do a little bit of soccersize with the girls and get them into football.
“Nour really enjoyed it, she was an instigator to getting the other girls motivated into playing.”
Nour was one of the original girls that came down to our first sessions with After18. This was over a year ago and the idea was to do a little bit of soccersize with the girls and get them into football.Sarah Jones Inclusive Practice Coach
The new programme, which will look to grow over the next three years, has already seen great success by working in partnership with local charities - in particular, with female participants, which account for over 30 per cent of those who take part.
Sarah adds: “We’ve had women from Leicester City of Sanctuary join in with After18 and integrate everybody into the community.
“Football is a great way to get everybody together – no matter where you are from or what you do.”
Nour, who studies at college and wants to become a dentist, complimented the work of Community Coach Sarah, and her personable approach.
“Sarah is like a friend to us,” she said. “At the start, we were calling her ‘Miss’ and she said to call her Sarah – she is really good!”
To find out more on the Football Welcomes Community Project, please email email@example.com.
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