Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Dublin People use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Northside West

Soccerfest unites at park event

Sunday, 15th October, 2017 10:00am
Soccerfest unites at park event

Brian Kerr pictured with David Worrell and daughters Alessia (4) and Indy (3). PHOTO: JASON CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Soccerfest unites at park event

Brian Kerr pictured with David Worrell and daughters Alessia (4) and Indy (3). PHOTO: JASON CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY

View More Images

THERE was a carnival atmosphere and a few Irish soccer heroes at Phoenix Park last month for this year’s Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) Soccerfest.

The annual event is celebrating 21 years and Ireland’s migrant community was joined in the park by the Ireland U-20 team that won the bronze medal at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championships.

That team was managed by SARI Director, Brian Kerr, who said this year’s Soccerfest was an extra special event.

“While every Soccerfest is special we are especially proud that we are now marking 21 years of this fantastic sporting and cultural event,” he explained.

“This event is a unique mix of top quality football, fun and free events and in the past 21 years it has been a space for Ireland’s migrant communities to take another step forward on the path to integration.”

Kerr’s legendary U-20 World Cup team came back together for Soccerfest, playing under the Team Malaysia banner in honour of the country where they won their bronze medals 20 years ago.

Two decades later and under the captaincy of Thomas Morgan, they went on to win the SARI Soccerfest Cup 2017 beating Sunday Astro 2-1 in extra time.

“We are all so delighted to be here to show our support for SARI Soccerfest on this very special occasion,” Morgan said.

“Looking around today it is so clear to see that sport – all sport – can break down barriers of ethnicity, religion, gender, geography, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age and any other difference you can name.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha, welcomed the teams to the Phoenix Park for Soccerfest.

“This is a great day of celebration for SARI and all the participant in SARI Soccerfest,” he said.

“I am also delighted to see so many people here in the Phoenix Park to support the teams and the work that SARI does.”

The first SARI Soccerfest was held in 1996 and since then over 6,000 people have participated in the tournament and a further 8,000 have travelled from migrant and minority communities across the country to enjoy the event.

This year, Soccerfest also hosted the launch of the European Week of Sport, which was coordinated by Sport Ireland to promote sport and physical activity across the country.

Sports clubs from across the country were in the Garda Grounds in the Park to showcase their sports including walking football, GAA rounders, orienteering, table tennis, cricket and volleyball.

“One of the key strategic objectives of Sport Ireland is increasing participation in sport and physical activity for all and we are determined to get as many people active as possible,” said Sport Ireland Director of Participation, Dr Una May.

“It is absolutely inspiring to see so many people willing to embrace new sports and activities so wholeheartedly.”

Edvinas Rupeika from North Strand shows the younsters a few tricks during Soccerfest.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here