Community Cohesion

Since the disturbances in the northern towns, the government have developed the concept of community cohesion.

Community cohesion is a way of describing how communities from different backgrounds, ages etc interact positively.

Red Rose Sports Club is committed to contributing to Community Cohesion by using the medium of sport to engage people from different areas, communities etc to come together and positively interact.

The following are some examples of how the Club has used sport to achieve Community Cohesion:

Members attracted from different parts of Preston

Each year the sports coaching programme brings together young people from the different parts of Preston . The club has a number of members who live in the following wards:

  • Deepdale
  • Fishwick
  • St.George’s
  • Riversway
  • St.Mathews
  • College
  • Garrison

Under everyday situations, these young people would not meet one another, as they live in different neighbourhoods and also attend different schools. With attendance at the sporting activities, many new friendships are made, which will last a lifetime.

This also helps to lessen tensions of rivalry between different areas, where people from different areas may view each other with suspicion, if they do not know one another.

Integrating people into mainstream activity

A key aim of the Club is to offer people a chance to learn or play a sport and then to offer them an outlet to further their interest. With this in mind, the club has formed links with a number of ‘mainstream’ Organisations, which ensures that members of the club have the opportunity to meet other people and take part in sport at the level they choose.

To date, Red Rose Sports Club has taken part in the following:

  • Preston indoor cricket league
    This involved teams from different parts of Preston, with players coming from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Matches with Grimsargh Cricket Club
    Two matches were held with Grimsargh cricket club. This gave young people, mainly from a minority ethnic community, a chance to engage in a sporting activity with people from a different town and ethnicity.
  • Callon/Fishwick football tournaments
    This tournmament brought together people from Fishwick and Deepdale. The participants were white, asian, black aswell as male and female. Occassionally, there has been some tensions between young people from these two areas. The participation in this tournament by Red Rose Sports club helped to integrate players from different communities and areas and hopefully assist in the lessening of tensions between groups of young people from the two areas.
  • Football foundation ‘Community Cohesion’ project
    This project supported by the Football Foundation is looking at using football to bring different groups of young people together and to undertake educational work with them, in order to get the young people to discuss issues of community cohesion and citizenship.

Lessons Learned
A number of factors contributed to the success of the project:

  • Attempt to identify local people who can act as coaches.
  • Mix the Coaches during all the coaching sessions, although having one local person at each site.
  • Mix the players into different teams at the central venue coaching sessions.
  • Attempt to identify a location that is neutral.
  • Undertake ‘getting to know each other’ sessions at the central venue prior to starting the coaching sessions.