EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY AND HISTORY OF IRELAND WHILST SUPPORTING REFUGEES
Join the third half as we take you on a journey to the ancient and beautiful countries of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. You’ll learn about their history from ancient mythology to their role in the founding of America, as well as their tortured journey through religious conflict to present-day peace. You’ll see how sport is part of the fabric of Irish society and how it has broken down barriers throughout history and experience the power yourself with games against local teams. You’ll also see first-hand how Ireland has been affected by the European refugee crisis, and experience how soccer is helping refugees and asylum-seekers find stability and fight discrimination and racism.
Founded as a Viking settlement in the 9th Century, Dublin has an illustrious educational and cultural past. Walking through the city streets you’ll have the opportunity to see some impressive ancient cathedrals such as St. Patrick’s and Christ Church as well as the famous Trinity College. You’ll also visit the impressive, 82,000 capacity Croke Park which has been the spiritual home of Irish sport for over 130 years.
Like many other countries in the European Union, Ireland has seen a huge increase in migration in recent years. You’ll join local soccer coaches as they run programs for local refugee youth in Dublin and see how sport is helping them assimilate into their new home. You’ll also visit a local mosque guided by local coaches and ‘Hijabs and Hat-tricks’, a soccer program to promote gender equality for Muslim girls.
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. Historically famous as the city where the infamous RMS Titanic was built and set sail, this extraordinary, charming city bears the traces of a painful history.
Belfast’s list of attractions includes beautifully-restored Victorian architecture, a glittering waterfront lined with modern art, a fantastic and a fast-expanding foodie scene. The stunning, star-shaped edifice housing the Titanic Belfast centre has become the city’s number-one tourist draw; it was even named the world’s leading tourist attraction at the 2016 World Travel Awards.
Belfast suffered greatly during The Troubles, the sectarian civil conflict that gripped Ireland from the Sixties until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. You’ll learn about this history – and the role that sport played – on a unique ‘Troubles Tour’ that will explain the history of religious conflict that still affects Northern Ireland today.
On the way to Belfast you’ll stop at Loughcrew to take in the stunning megalithic burial grounds that date back to 3,500 BC, before continuing to Giant’s Causeway, the renowned World Heritage site on the Northern Ireland coast.
Throughout your journey you’ll also experience the incredible warmth and passion of the Irish and Northern Irish people, both on and off the field.
This destination offers a range of soccer activities that we can use to create experiences from BEGINNER to ELITE level.
Experiences available include*;
- Hijabs and Hattricks program for Muslim girls
- Play friendly matches with local teams
- Attend a local professional match (subject to availability and additional cost)
- Tour Croke Park, Ireland’s national soccer stadium
- Leadership workshop with Brian Kerr, former Head Coach of Ireland Men’s National Team (subject to availability)
- Scrimmage with youth from soccer project at Mosney Direct Provision Center for asylum seekers ‘SoccerNites’ night-time training on all-weather astroturf