The 'Football Welcomes Refugees Month' is a yearly campaign launched in 2017 by Amnesty International to create a more welcoming environment within football for refugees and people seeking asylum. As April comes to end, Hampshire FA would like to showcase some of the work we're doing to support the cause!
Hampshire FA have created a various number of programmes and activity sessions welcoming refugees to come and get active with a football within their local community! Below is a list of programmes that are currently underway and some up-and-coming sessions to look forward to!
Swaythling Soccercise Sessions - We are running a free and female-only Soccercise session in Southampton (SO16 3BZ), which takes place every Wednesdays at 7-8pm. Hampshire FA reimburses the cost of travel for refugees and asylum seekers who attend the session.
Free ‘Pay and Play’ Sessions - We have a top-quality artificial pitch at Front Lawn Community Hub in Havant, where we are offering free pay and play sessions for refugees and asylum seekers who want to use our pitch to play football and get active!
Free Access to Cup Finals - Hampshire FA is offering Basingstoke-based refugees and asylum seekers free access to attend our cup finals at Winklebury Football Complex, including:
Women’s Trophy (08/05/22 @3pm)
Sunday Veterans Final (15/05/22 @1pm)
John Ward Sunday Seniors Final (15/05/22 @4:30pm)
Donations of Kit – As a collective, we are donating both kit and footwear to refugees and asylum seekers for them to be able to participate in football and feel comfortable in doing so!
Free Coaching Session – On 28 April, our Coaching & Workforce Football Development Officer, Alice, and our Football Development Apprentice, Max, will be delivering a free coaching-structured session to Basingstoke refugees and asylum seekers at Winklebury Football Complex!
‘Find Your Feet’ Sessions – Our Women's Recreational Football Development Officer, Hannah, will be delivering free ‘Female only’ exercise sessions in Southampton at a date TBC for refugees and asylum seekers!
Discussing 'Football Welcomes Refugees Month', Hampshire FA's Community Engagement & Inclusion Officer, Alie Chartier, said: "Hampshire FA is proud to be supporting the Amnesty International campaign 'Football Welcomes Refugees' and it has been inspiring to see this campaign being picked-up by clubs across the County.
For refugees and asylum seekers, having access to exercise and feeling welcomed within a sporting community can have a really positive impact on their wellbeing and their integration in a new community.
Our aim for the next season is to remove additional barriers by focusing on the creation of sustainable and accessible sessions for refugees and asylum seekers to take part in football, while continuing to be mindful of the additional barriers faced by female refugees and female asylum seekers."