Community Champions League - Partnership Project with Good Relations, Sports Development & Community/voluntary Networks targeting Minority Ethnic & Local participants as a mechanism for integration.  Teams will compete in a league and cup competition and all participants will attend various good relations workshops throughout the programme. 

Participants will be given the opportunity to gain qualifications to develop their capacity. Celebration event and study visit to Sport Against Racism – Soccer-fest Ireland for winning teams.

This is a 5-a-side football programme which is funded by GR and SD provides assistance in regard to the delivery, casual coaches deliver aspects on each Sunday. The programme aimed to engage with a range of BME community groups.  The league was delivered over a 16 week block with 16 teams and over 100 people taking part throughout.  Participants are from a range of backgrounds such as; Poland, Lithuania, Guinea Bissau, Timor, Portugal, Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Participants not only enjoyed taking part in the competition but also took part in a range of workshops which tackled Sport and Racism, Positive Mental Health, Hate Crime, Employability and also some Sporting Qualifications with 20 participants gaining their Futsal Level One award and 5 gaining their IFA Level One coaching Football award.


Results and impact

Explore the barriers to shared participation and ownership of physical spaces;

  • Improved community cohesion and connectivity;
  • Engaging with new communities and local communities to provide
  • opportunities for integration;
  • Develop social, cross community and good relations opportunities through sport;
  • Encourage active Citizenship; and
  • Capacity building and training for minority groups.

One of the aims of the Community Champions League programme is to use football as a tool to engage with new communities and local communities and provide a platform for integration. In the past two years, teams and participants representing different community backgrounds were able to integrate and build new relationships, very often challenging their own prejudices. Therefore, it was very rewarding to hear that the majority of participants would like to add a family aspect to this event, for example, side activities for children and other family members, so the whole family could enjoy and celebrate an active day in the park together with others.  Positive messages from the participants.


Type of activity

Programmes promoting activity



Place: Peoples Park, Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland

Territorial level: Regional

Organizer: Armagh City Banbridge Craigavon Borough Council Community Development & Sports Development