THE POWER OF SPORT TO BUILD
GOOD INTER FAITH RELATIONS
12-19 November is Inter Faith Week, a week when the spotlight is on inter faith understanding and cooperation – so vital to a cohesive and integrated society.
Inter Faith Network for the UK leads on the Week and is working in partnership with Sporting Equals UK on a special symposium highlighting 'The power of sport to build good inter faith relations'. This took place at Welford Road, home of the Leicester Tigers, on Tuesday 14 November.
Sport has a special role to play in building bridges. 50+ practitioners from the world of sport and from inter faith initiatives will be exploring how sport can help people of different backgrounds to meet one another, come to understand each other better, develop skills for cooperation and build stronger inter faith relations.
The day showcasing some of the ways that sports bodies, faith based bodies, inter faith organisations and others are using sport as a medium for inter faith encounter, improved understanding and as a promoter of community cohesion. Among these are inputs from Premiership Rugby, Burnley FC and Building Bridges in Burnley, and the Essex County Cricket Club and East London multi faith team that recently played the Vatican XI.
The day also looked at ways ahead to increase opportunities for this kind of engagement through a diverse range of sports.
IFN CO-CHAIRS, THE RT REVD RICHARD ATKINSON AND JATINDER SINGH BIRDI, SAY:
“We hope that this special symposium will be a springboard for many new initiatives where sport and inter faith engagement provide opportunities for people of all ages mixing, learning, and creating new friendships and a basis for the cooperation and trust that are so vital for a strong and harmonious shared society.”
SPORTING EQUALS CHAIRMAN DENSIGN WHITE, SAYS
“Sport is not always recognised for its wider benefits. Sport is a great tool to build social interaction between communities particularly those that have little engagement or understanding. It provides a platform for real dialogue and discussion of sensitive issues to help break down myths and barriers. This conference will help showcase the best sport and interfaith cohesion projects and will further inspire more projects across the country to utilise sport for cohesion and help build stronger local communities.”
2. Photographs will be available on the day, as will interviews with: Harriet Crabtree - Executive Director, Inter Faith Network for the UK; Arun Kang – CEO, Sporting Equals UK; and speakers from a range of inter faith and sport projects.
3. The Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country.
4. Sporting Equals UK (www.sportingequals.org.uk) is a national charity that works to engage Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities through sport and physical activity to build healthier, stronger and fairer local communities.
5. Inter Faith Week – Further information about Inter Faith Week can be found at www.interfaithweek.org
The Inter Faith Network for the UK is Registered Charity no. 1068934 and Company limited by guarantee no. 3443823. Registered in England, registered address 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.
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