Video: Support us … West End-based all-inclusive football club seeks cash help

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A football club that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness is seeking crowdfunding help to carry on its great work.

United Glasgow F.C was formed in 2011 to provide regular, structured football for people excluded from sport – either financially or by discrimination.

While the project was formed primarily to help refugees and asylum seekers, the club has grown to embrace anyone from any background – male or female, black or white.

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Watch: Coach Paul Georgie explains why the crowdfunding is needed for equipment and costs.

Breaking down barriers and promoting social and racial understanding, the club uniquely brings people together through football – regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender, neighbourhood or footballing ability.

But with success has come pressures on resources, particularly equipment.

The club does what it can to kit out people who have very little financial means, with boots and shirts free of charge.

But numbers have spiralled from just a few score five years ago to more than 200 players from 50 countries today.

The club says it needs £5,000 to cover the costs of new boots, shirts, shorts, training equipment and administrative costs.

A gofundme page is only running to the end of the month, and the club is still short of its target.

People who value its work are being asked to dip in to their pockets to help out.

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Growing: The club has seen numbers increase to more than 200 in five years.

Paul Georgie is one of the dozen or so coaches who gives up their time to run weekly training sessions and get teams to matches.

He said: “A majority of our men’s team are asylum seekers or refugees and many of them lack the basic equipment to join in with the football.

“So what we try to do is to make everyone feel welcome and to offer that kit for free for them to rent and to play football with.

“Because ultimately once they get a pair of football boots on that’s when all the other labels drop to the floor and you’re a footballer.

“Football the world over is known as a world language.

“And when we are seeing such a diversity of different languages, cultures and races, one of the most powerful things we can do is use that universal language to bring people together and to enable better social integration.

“Here, we have people meet from different backgrounds who otherwise, if it wasn’t for this football team, would never have met in the first place.”

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Together: Anyone from any background regardless of race, creed, gender or ability is welcome.

In addition to the Men’s Saturday team who play in the West of Scotland Amateur Football League, United Glasgow Football Club now has a Women’s 11-a-side team in the SWFL Division 2 West.

It also has a Men’s Sunday Team and a Men’s Development Team in the Glasgow Community & Co-operative League.

There is also 5-a-side drop-in session for women operating under the same principles of inclusion and the promotion of progressive ideals.

Players come from all over Glasgow to take part in the club’s activities.

Paul Georgie:

“So what we try to do is to make everyone feel welcome and to offer that kit for free for them to rent and to play football with.

“Because ultimately once they get a pair of football boots on that’s when all the other labels drop to the floor and you’re a footballer.

“Football the world over is known as a world language.

“And when we are seeing such a diversity of different languages, cultures and races, one of the most powerful things we can do is use that universal language to bring people together and to enable better social integration.

“Here, we have people meet from different backgrounds who otherwise, if it wasn’t for this football team, would never have met in the first place.”

Transport costs remain one of its biggest burdens. The present crowdfunder is not meeting those costs, and the club continues to rely on donations and financial support from outside organisations.

Paul said: “We have over 200 players now from around Glasgow and many of them lack access to transport to get them to both the training sessions and the games on the weekend.

“So for several of the lads here, they have had to walk from halfway across Glasgow while others will try to take the bus and make their way here.

“But certainly transport to training and games is an increasing problem for us.”

“As our popularity has soared so has our overheads and the cost that it takes to run an organisation and training sessions like these.


Watch: The club has had several promotional videos made of its work.

“Of course there are other things that are more practical in terms of insurance and having people trained up in first aid.

“We do provide training for players to attain their coaching badges but we are also looking for them to attain badges for first aid as well.

“And of course the equipment, which includes everything from football boots, to cones, to shin pads, to shorts and T-shirts.

“We’ve previously lived on donations and unfortunately much of this hasn’t matched the demand we are receiving from our players.”

* If you think you would like to help go to: https://www.gofundme.com/ugfcfootballforall

For more information about the club see: http://unitedglasgowfc.org.uk

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