Athena Media - Radio Podcasts
March 21st is International Day against Racism and this feature showcases how sport can unite and cross all boundaries that divide us. In Count Us In we hear the story of how a sports initiative in Dublin's inner city primary schools is not just introducing children to new sports but encouraging and promoting multi-racial play and integration. 'Count Us In' is run by Sport Against Racism in Ireland, SARI, with boys and girls in primary schools in Dublin's heartland, Dublin 8, the Liberties. This radio feature follows the project through its run across Spring 2009, and find out how sports unites and what the children think of it. As the project gets underway again this year we hear the voices of former Ireland manager, Brian Kerr who talks about his own deep commitment to SARI and we get the story from SARI's founders Frank Buckley and Ken McCue. One of the players who has come through SARI's soccer league Emecka Onwubiko shares his story, coming to Swords as a boy of 11 from Nigeria and his pride in playing for Ireland in the U19 team. For Brian Kerr the work SARI does in schools is even more essential in a recession when the concept of integration may become more challenging. But like many he's concerned about funding and state commitment; 'the big thing for SARI is survival because obviously funding and resources are very scarce these days. Without funding we can't sustain our efforts or continue to roll out events like the schools programme'. The real stars of 'Count Us In' are the children who share their stories and thoughts, who learn to take on new sports and make new friends.