DUBLIN

IRISH FOOTBALL WELCOMES NO BARRIERS 2020

The No Barriers 2020 project brings together sport and social action, harnessing the excitement of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament in primary schools across Ireland.

Launching today (Monday, 24 February), No Barriers 2020 builds up to the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament, encouraging primary schools to use football to inspire social change in their community. This new project brings the excitement and power of football directly to schools in the Republic of Ireland, focusing on Dublin and London as host cities of the tournament. The project is supported by the Football Association of Ireland and the Greater London Authority.

The project celebrates football ‘Champions’ from each of the 12 host cities of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament who have overcome barriers to achieve success on the football pitch. Their stories inspire students to become active citizens, using sport to promote social action. The champions – past and present – include players who have challenged racism, a player who led his team to win the championship cup, twice, despite having lost an arm in a car crash, and a Holocaust survivor who went on to be a world-renowned coach.

FAI Deputy Interim CEO Niall Quinn said:“Dublin’s staging of four UEFA Euro 2020 matches this June will be a seismic moment for football in Ireland. ‘No Barriers’ introduces students to the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 host cities and tells the story of an inspiring hero from each one. This is further evidence of the positive impact that the sport can make on people of all ages, background and gender. The programme highlights the achievements of many footballers across Europe who have overcome incredible odds to achieve their goals. I’m delighted to help launch the ‘No Barriers programme, which is being supported by the FAI and the Mayor of London, and would urge as many schools as possible here in Ireland to sign up to and benefit from this insightful and engaging initiative.”

Stephanie Roche has been a vocal advocate for women’s football, campaigning for equal pay and fair media coverage in the sporting world. Stephanie Roche plays for Italian club C.F. Florentia and the Republic of Ireland national team. In 2014 the public voted for her to be a top 3 finalist for the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of the year – the highest any female player has been recognised in the competition. Stephanie continues to promote women’s football and support young women in the game and is celebrated as the Ireland Host City Icon in the No Barriers 2020 resource pack.

Stephanie Roche said:“I was delighted to be invited to participate in the ‘No Barriers’ campaign and I believe that the powerful stories can inspire the next generation of football fan. ‘No Barriers’ introduces students to the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 host cities and provides a wealth of information which I’m sure all students will enjoy learning about. I’m really excited about this summer’s tournament and that Dublin will get the chance to showcase itself and Irish football by hosting four matches. I would encourage all schools to be a part of the initiative, combining sport with social action, and sign up for ‘No Barriers’ today.”

This student-led project guides primary school students to get active on the pitch and in their local communities, using the power of football to bring people together to tackle an issue important to them.

Free school resources are available, including inspiring football Champion Cards, lesson plans, worksheets, PowerPoints and a Host City Map.

Contact: NoBarriers@big-ideas.org for more information or sign up at www.fai.ie/nobarriers