Clubs unite to tackle sectarianism
The problem of religious intolerance and sectarianism among young people in Scotland is to be tackled through a partnership between Celtic and Rangers football clubs.
The Old Firm Alliance has been launched to build closer links between Catholic and Protestant communities through football games and will also target thousands of children across Glasgow to teach them how sport can lead to healthier lifestyles and raise self-esteem.
Traditionally the Catholic community has had strong associations with Celtic, while the Protestant population has supported Rangers.
The launch follows a recent summit on sectarianism hosted by the Scottish Executive. Speaking at the launch of the alliance this week, Scottish sports minister Patricia Ferguson said the teams should be ‘congratulated for working to educate young people that sectarianism only engenders prejudice, hatred, suffering and intimidation’.
Funding of £313,217 for the alliance has been provided by Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive’s housing and regeneration agency. Rangers and Celtic have contributed more than £140,000 to the project.
She said: ‘Scotland is a modern, progressive and dynamic nation of opportunity. We can make our small nation better still by stamping outonce and for all the bigoted behaviours that tarnish Scotland’s name.’
Source: Regeneration magazine