Local inter faith organisations and sport
Example: Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum
Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum (WaMCF), early in their development as an inter faith group reflected on how they were reaching out to different parts of their community and providing a basis for inter faith encounter and dialogue. As part of their discussions on how to engage more young people with their work they started to consider sport as an opportunity.
WaMCF recognised that different communities in the area were interested in sport. In the Sikh community, for example, participation in football, cricket and kabaddi was particularly high. It was thought that sport could therefore be a good way to bring people together. Initially sporting events and tournaments were organised around football and lots of young men were involved. Engaging women proved to be more difficult in the first instance but persistence bore fruit.
Once started this aspect of their work began to flourish. People made friends through sport, and, most importantly, it had the power to bring people of all backgrounds, ages and genders together. Barriers continued to be broken down as the younger generations in faith communities grow up together. There are also health benefits to inter faith sport, helping to promote physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
For further information on sport and inter faith look at: Using the Power of Sport to Build Good Inter Faith Relations or contact Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum via their website: http://www.wamcf.org/.