COUNT US IN is an education programme for children and youth. Our aim is to generate intercultural dialogue and build social capital in and out of the classroom using the medium and universal language of sport. SARI has successfully conducted this programme in a number of areas in Dublin and further afield. To date over 2,800 people have participated. If you would like to introduce Count Us In to your school - and/or learn more about the programme - please contact the SARI office at 01.873.5077

The Target Group

  • Youth clubs and schools
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Local indigenous and national community
  • Age group: 9 – 16 years
  • Genders: male and female

The Count Us In programme consists of 2 phases:

Phase 1 is the Education Module and Phase 2 is the Inter Schools Sports Day. SARI devised Phase 1 and 2 of the Count Us In programme to give young people and their peers the opportunity to understand the values that exist in sport and to demonstrate that these are the same values that can be used in everyday life. It also encourages and explores, cultural diversity and societies of the world using sport as the catalyst.

Phase 1.
The education module, resourced by a series of exercises specifically tailored for each age group and framed in conjunction with the home school liaison officers and teachers, uses positive imagery, such as the SARI Sporting Heads DVD to animate a dialogue with the students focused on integration through sport. Students are introduced to terms such as Racism, Integration, Fair Play, Respect, Team Work and are encouraged to discuss their views. Students are asked to name sporting heroes from around the world, and identify their favourite sports. The value of cultural diversity in a sports context is discussed and broadened to depict the benefits for society as a whole. The SARI United Through Sport Dvd is shown to the students and their opinions are sought on the themes discussed.

Phase 2.
Count Us In Inter-school Sports Day. This is a dedicated day bringing all the students together from the participating schools, under the banner of integration through sport, to actively play sport and get to know each other in a safe and fun environment free from racism and other forms of discrimination using the universal language of sport. Critical to the success of this project is SARI’s continued partnerships with the National Sports Organisations who provide Development officers, coaches and valuable information on how those participating can avail of mainstreaming opportunities and access local sports initiatives in the area. The sports day provides the praxis for the education module and those participating get to learn a range of skills in each sport and try a different sport.

Tantamount to the effectiveness of the project is the encouragement by SARI staff and volunteers to get the students to mix and dialogue with each other on and off the pitches and courts. SARI do this by mixing the classes from each of the schools. Through the universal language of sport, they share their commonalities and learn to value diversity.

All those participating are awarded a Count Us In certificate of participation. SARI in developing each aspect of the project will work with a number of key stakeholders, individuals and organisations: Including Home School Liaison Officers, Teachers, Parents and Guardians, Sports Development Officers, National Sports organisations.

Aims and Objectives

  • Use sporting activity as a tool for integration
  • Discuss and promote the values of sport such as teamwork, fair-play, respect through the education modules
  • Generate intercultural dialogue in and outside of the classroom that values cultural diversity
  • Breakdown perceived barriers to integration
  • Promote positive integration by providing safe spaces free from racism xenophobia and other forms of discrimination
  • Build social capital gain through sport in the area
  • Involve children and young people in the development of the project
  • Provide the space for young people to explore and understand global issues, cultures and societies of the world
  • Involve home School Liaison Officers, teaching staff of primary, secondary schools, sports development officers, sports organisations, students, parents/guardians
  • Build volunteer capacity
  • Promote integration and raise awareness of the project through media