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They all went to Wembley

02 August 2013

by a staff reporter


On the bench: pupils from different faith schools visit a changing-room on a tour of Wembley Stadium last month

On the bench: pupils from different faith schools visit a changing-room on a tour of Wembley Stadium last month

SCHOOLS of different faiths were brought together in an event held at Wembley Stadium, organised by the Three Faiths Forum (3FF) and the Football Association.

Children from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim schools, and their parents, toured the stadium, pitch, and changing-room as part of a Faith and Football event last month. The children have met at Wembley on previous days, and played foot- ball together, but involving the parents was an important final step, the communications manager for 3FF, Philip Ybring, said.

"The idea behind getting the parents involved is to extend the impact of the programme a bit so that we're building connections not only between teachers and students, but reaching a bit further into the wider communities as well. So it's about getting as many people as possible involved in meeting and learning about people of different faiths, cultures, and backgrounds, which we believe is really important for creating good interfaith and intercultural relations."

The schools manager at 3FF, Aisling Cohn, said: "Faith and Football is in its second year running, and we've seen how it has united different faith schools. There has been a lot of negativity in the news after the Woolwich attack, and it is crucial to work together at a time like this. "These linking events provide pupils with a safe environment where they can interact and develop friendships with children they may have never met in their daily lives. It also gives them the confidence they need to communicate with people who have a different background from them."

The director of Football Governance and Regulation at the FA, Darren Bailey, said: "We hope that football and the project continue to be effective ways in which to bring different faiths together."

Faith and Football is part of 3FF's School Linking programme, which works with 50 faith and community schools across the UK.

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