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Barnsley Anti-Racism Football Tournament

This story by Nick Stevens originally appeared on Hope Not Hate.

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

Some of the teams on show. Photo: Mark Harvey

It’s fair to say that we at HOPE not hate have written extensively over the years about the relationship between organised football violence and the growth and movements of the far-right scene in the UK. That being the case, it is always a delight when we can write about the opposite: a positive story about the impact of ‘the beautiful game’, and its role in bringing people together.

And so was the case in Barnsley on Saturday 16th January, as 16 teams from across Yorkshire, and even as far afield as London and Leicester, came together for a 5-a-side ‘Anti-Racism Tournament’ organised by Unite the Union, with backing from Show Racism The Red Card and Barnsley FC Community Support Trust.

HOPE not hate was delighted to be invited to the fantastic, diverse, event in a freezing sports hall next to Barnsley football ground in the middle of the South Yorkshire town. The ground itself is situated in a residential area, and walking around, one really gets the sense of the unifying properties of the world’s most popular sport, as the game becomes a catalyst for a community to come together.

As teams such as ‘Yorkshire St Pauli’, ‘Barnsley ESOL’ and ‘Manchester Refugee Support’ clashed in their various groups, the viewing gallery and seating area was packed with people determined to stand in solidarity with those that some see fit to demonise and scapegoat.

Being as they were only 5 minutes long, and with 3 matches being played at once, the games themselves were played at a whirlwind pace, with some fantastic individual and team skill on show. Whilst we got a stitch just watching, the boundless levels of energy from all involved needs to be commended, as does the organisation of the day itself, which was superb. Also, a big thank you to the caterers who put on a great spread to keep the teams full of vitality.

In the end, Manchester Refugee Support emerged victorious, so congratulations to them!

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

DCC United put on a solid display. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey

Spot the ball, answers on a postcard. Photo: Mark Harvey

 

Unite football tournament plays a blinder!

Last Saturday 16th January, a very unique event took place at Barnsley Football Club.

Photos by Brian Clarke and Ian Parker.

The event was a 5 a side football tournament, not just any 5 a side tournament, this event was unique because it was organised by two passionate football fans, Linda Hughes (Unite Union Learning Organiser) and Joe Rollin (Unite Industrial Organising Officer) as an anti-racist event and to show support for refugees and asylum seekers.

The idea was developed when Linda and Joe became aware that a group of asylum seekers/refugees in Barnsley were spending their time playing football in Locke Park Barnsley. It was decided to organise using the title of “Celebrating diversity through learning” and supported by Barnsley FC Community Trust, Learn with Unite, Achievement through sport, Professional Footballers Association, Union Learning Fund, Show Racism the Red Card and Barnsley Trades Union Council.

Following negotiations with Barnsley Football Club the tournament was held in the Training Academy and 16 teams were invited to take place. The teams, 4 from Barnsley, 1 from Doncaster, 2 from Leeds, 1 from Leicester, 2 from Manchester, 1 from London, 2 from Middlesbrough, 1 from Pudsey and 2 from Sheffield. Getting all the fixtures worked out was quite a task but the organisers did it and made a good job of it.

We will not mention all the teams but the team from where the idea came from was Barnsley ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) an all women team a Dads & Lads team and a music group turned out a team.

The day went very well with very few hitches, 3 pitches were used simultaneously it was great to see such activity with so many Nationalities taking part, all watched and cheered on by a good audience of very enthusiastic supporters.

At half time Kenny Barron Unite the Union’s Head of Lifelong Learning presented ESOL certificates and medals to the Barnsley ESOL Team and a free buffet was provided by the Professional Footballers Association which was a bit like the proverbial bun fight, but much appreciated.

After all the matches had been played, the team coming out on top were Manchester Refugee Support, showing some excellent football skills, worthy winners. The trophy was presented by Dave Gibson on behalf of Barnsley Trades Union Council who provided trophies and medals.

All in all a very enjoyable day and thanks should be given to Barnsley Football Club, Unite the Union, Professional Footballers Association not forgetting Linda and Joe. The Barnsley team asked if it was going to be a regular event!! Perhaps it may develop into an Annual event, who knows?

Football Tournament

This should be the final Communication about the Football Tournament on 16th of January but please feel free to contact me any time for further clarification or information about the day you can get me on:

Mobile 07814336545
Email
joe.rollin@unitetheunion.org

Information about the Day itself

All the games will be played in doors on astro turf so please bring appropriate footwear, please bring along matching colour shirts for your team, we have spare shirts for the day if two teams clash supplied by Amnesty International. A map of how to get to the ground, start and finish times can be found here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unite-the-union-community-5-a-side-football-tournament-tickets-19419703857?aff=efbnreg

Food will be provided free on the day, and no entry cost will be charged!

There is also free parking

Please bring as many substitutes, friends and supporters as you like we want the day to be as inclusive as possible mixed teams are also welcome. We also have a facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Football-and-education-tournament-505269412966400/

And the unite community Blog here: http://barnsleycsc.com/?s=football

Unite Community operate a zero tolerance attitude to any form of discrimination so please come with an inclusive attitude, we want people to enjoy the day make new friends and contacts and help create a more decent and fair society.

Please find below the final Grid with all the teams on and a running order for the day! Copy of Copy of football list JOE

I look forward to meeting you all, in Solidarity Joe Rollin Organiser Unite the Union.

Trade Union and Community Football Tournament

5 aside football Joe rollin
Celebrating Diversity Through Learning

5 a -side Football teams required.

Unite-the-Union-Community-5-a-side-Football-Tournament
Saturday, 16 January 2016 from 13:00 to 18:00 (GMT)
Barnsley FC – Oakwell Ground Barnsley, South Yorkshire S71 1ET

Celebrating diversity in Barnsley as a City of Sanctuary
Welcoming Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

Free Parking will be available at the ground.
Ten minute walk from centre of town and all train and bus connections.

To Register Contact
Linda Hughes – linda.hughes@unitetheunion.org 07958 511 578
Joe Rollin – joe.rollin@unitetheunion.org 07814 336 545
John Coan – john.coan@unitetheunion.org 07711 375536
Please bring your banners, family, friends and supporters!

A buffet will be provided, dietary needs will be considered.
Find us on Facebook: Unite-the-Union-Community-5-a-side-Football-Tournament

Barnsley Chronicle Letter

It was great that the Barnsley Chronicle ran an article on our Footy Tournament, not so great they failed to report who organised it! ever vigilant our ESOL team (namely Brian Clark) picked up on this and got this exellent letter published this week to set the record straight.

I would like to add to the article in the 29th January edition concerning  Jabber (Jimmy) Mohammed and the 5 a side football tournament which took place on 16thJanuary.  This event was unique because it was organised by two passionate football fans, Linda Hughes (Unite Union Learning Organiser) and Joe Rollin (Unite Industrial Organising Officer) as an anti-racist event and to show support for refugees and asylum seekers.  It was decided to organise using the title “Celebrating diversity through learning” and supported by Barnsley FC Community Trust, Learn with Unite, Achievement through sport, Professional Footballers Association, Union Learning Fund, Show Racism the Red Card and Barnsley Trades Union Council.    Following negotiations with Barnsley Football Club the tournament was held in their Training Academy and 16 teams were invited to take place.  The teams from Barnsley, Doncaster, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, London, Middlesbrough, and Sheffield were not all refugees or asylum seekers, but all anti racist.

The Barnsley team were people attending ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) lessons organised by Unite the Union held at Quaker House in conjunction with The British Red Cross.

At half time Kenny Barron Unite the Union’s Head of Lifelong Learning presented ESOL certificates and medals to the Barnsley ESOL Team and a free buffet was provided by the Professional Footballers Association.

 

D010516331 FootyTeam 2

 

ESOL Donation

D010516331

During the run up to Christmas, Barnsley Trades Union Council launched an appeal to assist asylum seekers and refugees in the town.

On Saturday at the end of an Anti-racist 5 a side Football tournament held at the Barnsley Football Club Dave Gibson, on behalf of the BTUC presented a cheque to the value of £300 (part of the total appeal) to Richard Vivian and Brian Clarke, 2 of the volunteers at the Unite Community Support Centre, based at the NUM Headquarters on Huddersfield Road.

Newcastle United fans unfurl protest banner aimed at Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct

SportsDirectShame

Fans at Manchester United match unveil banner reading #SportsDirectShame in protest over working conditions and pay at retail chain http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jan/12/newcastle-united-fans-unfurl-protest-banner-against-mike-ashleys-sports-direct

#SportsDirectShame: Newcastle United fans unfurl banner protesting against club owner Mike Ashley’s sportswear empire after controversy over working conditions http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3397138/SportDirectShame-Newcastle-United-fans-unfurl-banner-protesting-against-club-owner-Mike-Ashley-s-sportswear-empire-controversy-working-conditions.html

Attila the Stockbroker @ Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley

Attila the Stockbroker
Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley
Start: 10 Feb 2016 – 07:30 PM
Price: All tickets £10.00

Singer-songwriter and pioneer performance poet, Attila has fought injustice all his life, including benefit gigs during The Miners’ Strike and for ‘Rock Against Racism’. His work tackles serious issues but he’ll make you laugh when he delivers it!

STOCKBROKER’S CLERK, 1980: THE NAME 

“And then, one day, I got myself a stage name. A stage name that, on its own, got me fifty per cent of my earliest gigs outside Harlow, all my early media coverage and entries in ‘silly band name’ lists all over the world, alongside the likes of Death By Milkfloat and Half Man Half Biscuit.

To this day, it still raises a smile everywhere I go.  I can be quite clumsy: I bump into things easily. And in that job I didn’t give a shit. I can’t exactly remember how or where, but I knocked a cup of coffee over in the office one day and somebody said something like ‘You’ve got the manners of Attila the Hun!’ A light came on in my head.

Attila the Stockbroker. That’s what I’d call myself. The last bit of the jigsaw was complete.”

Launched into public consciousness by John Peel in the early 1980s, performance poet, musician, journalist and political activist Attila the Stockbroker has spent thirty five years touring the world. Having performed over three thousand gigs in twenty four countries, releasing forty records and seven books of poetry along the way, he pauses here to relate his life story, a tale of single-minded determination to earn his living, without compromise, doing what he loves in the context of the ever changing, increasingly corporate minded politics of the last five decades.

An autobiography like no other, ‘Arguments Yard’ bounces effortlessly from frontline tales of touring East Germany, the first ever punk performance in Stalinist Albania, being thrown out of one of his own gigs and the ongoing fight – often literally – with the fascist thugs who targeted him in the early 80s to more homely anecdotes: his coastal upbringing and love of his home in West Sussex, his passionate involvement in the battle to save his beloved Brighton and Hove Albion FC and his path from punk bass player into a career which has lasted decades longer than the ranting verse fad which spawned it.

Full of humour and intellect, and peppered with encounters with notable figures, ‘Arguments Yard’ demonstrates a depth rarely found in the everyday performer’s autobiography, and relates an important social history, being a left wing activist’s eyewitness journey through the great political battles and movements of recent times. Rock Against Racism, the Anti Nazi League, the miners’ strike, the Wapping dispute, Red Wedge, the Poll Tax and campaigns against two Gulf Wars are all analysed from a ringside perspective before the author packs his bags and takes us on another tour of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA or Europe. Attila once turned down an offer of shows in North Korea (only because he was already booked to tour Canada) has stood in for Donny Osmond at a gig, been supported by the Manic Street Preachers – and DJ legend Steve Lamacq was his roadie for a while.

Now a long established Glastonbury regular, a celebrated poet at his football club and the organiser of his own hugely popular beer and music festival, Glastonwick, Attila The Stockbroker remains as focussed and active as ever and continues to perform around a hundred gigs a year to diverse audiences across the world.

His message is a simple one: you don’t need to be ‘a celebrity’ to lead a life earning your living doing what you love to do. You just need a way with words, the self-confidence and organizational ability of Napoleon and skin thicker than the armour of a Chieftain tank.

‘Arguments Yard’ is the perfect antidote to the countless fake tan splattered and empty headed celebrity autobiographies that increasingly fill the nation’s bookshelves.

Sports Direct: Mike Ashley to oversee review of agency staff’s conditions

This article by Julian Kollewe originally appeared in the Guardian.

Founder of sportswear chain will personally lead initiative after Guardian investigation revealed some staff are effectively paid less than minimum wage

Sports Direct is to launch a review of all agency staff terms and conditions, which it said would be overseen personally by its founder Mike Ashley.

The move follows a Guardian investigation, which revealed how temporary warehouse workers at Britain’s biggest sportswear chain are subjected to an extraordinary regime of searches and surveillance. Undercover reporters also came up with evidence that thousands of workers were receiving effective hourly rates of pay below the minimum wage.

The company said on Friday: “Sports Direct always seeks to improve and do things better, listens to criticism and acts where appropriate. With that in mind, as noted above, the board has agreed that Mike Ashley shall personally oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions to ensure the company does not just meet its legal obligations, but also provides a good environment for the entire workforce. We expect him to start that work in the New Year.”

Labour’s former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said: “This Sports Direct review is overdue but has the whiff of a pupil marking its own homework. Sports Direct should get an independent third party to do their review into workers rights – the company has a lot to learn.”

At the same time, Sports Direct mounted a robust defence of its employment practices, issuing a long list of rebuttals.

It said the warehouse tannoy is not used to ‘harangue’ or ‘name and shame’ staff, but is used for logistical reasons, for example, to redeploy staff to other areas of the building.

It said it does not penalise staff for being ill. “Sanctions may be applied if workers fail to follow the company’s reasonable sickness absence notification procedures, which are in line with industry best practice. The company is not aware of any occasions on which sick children have not been able to be collected from school by their parents. Sports Direct allows staff time off to look after dependants in such circumstances.”

Local primary school headteachers had told the Guardian that workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire are sending their children to school while sick because they are too afraid to take time off work.

The company defended the security measures at its warehouse in Shirebrook in light of the risk of theft. Sports Direct said banning staff from wearing the brands stocked in the warehouse was “not an unusual practice,” adding: “There are of course numerous other brands that staff can easily wear.”

The Guardian revealed that staff are banned from wearing 802 clothing brands at work, and that they have to go through rigorous searches, and are not paid for their time while being searched.

The company said all employees, agency workers and visitors, including executive management and board members, are subject to “random searches”.

Sports Direct also defended its use of zero hour contracts for casual staff in its shops, saying it is not alone in using them. It added that a “significant number” of casual workers had moved from zero hour terms into permanent contracts “when the circumstances allow”. Many have developed successful careers within the company, including the chief executive, it said.

It also said that virtually all casual retail staff are eligible for bonus payments and that more than 80% achieved a performance-related bonus in November.

The retailer came under fire from MPs during an urgent parliamentary debate on Monday and a government minister, Nick Boles, said the company would face sanctions if it flouted wage laws. HM Revenue & Customs is facing increasing pressure to launch an inquiry into the sportswear retailer.

My dream is achieved

Jimmy, a refugee from Sudan tells us the story of his refugee football team

FootyTeam 1

When my friend told my about Barnsley and said it is a small town, and you will not like it, also you will not find your dream of some good people and education, they told me that it would be better if you chose Manchester or Liverpool or London, so that you can live and learn quickly. They have told me that refugees and asylum seekers living there are scattered and do not know each other.

I have told them the problem is not in Barnsley as a small town and it is not the solution to go to Manchester, Liverpool or London. The problem is when a person living in a small town has small dreams the city becomes small, and when you have big dreams the city becomes large even if it is small. For the people I told them it’s important to show love, respect, trust, honesty and good ethics and then people show love to you.

Some things are not impossible, but if a man wanted only to be in a small place in a small room with small ideas and thinks only of eating and sleeping he will achieve little. But if a man wanted to transform the dream of a small idea into a big idea, this can become a successful project, creating strength from weakness.

The simple idea I had was to buy a football for three pounds and bring refugees together. I told them life is tough, but we must live with all the pain and rigors. I told them the tiger stands strong, and the eagle loves space and a life of freedom so we have to be strong like tigers and live in space like eagles do. We have a football field and we are brothers who play there and afterwards we all eat together. We also go to English language lessons at the Red Cross and then to the library for conversation and coffee.

Hearts have gathered and are united before they gather in our home lands and unite, our making of Barnsley City is unprecedented in the UK and today we dream of games with all refugees in London, Manchester and Liverpool, this is the idea of one man, now we are one hundred and fifty strong in the heart of one man.

Anything is possible within the world in which we live. Only fear prevents us from fulfilling our hopes and dreams. If we are faint-hearted or cannot be bothered to search for ways to improve ourselves and pursue our goals, even simple things won’t be achieved. However, we can be successful in achieving improvement if we are diligent and patient. Seeking advice and the opinions of good law-abiding decent people from all communities will help us all to live in a better and peaceful society.

This applies to the football team I started in May 2015 and above is a picture from that time.

My grandfather used to say that no matter how dark things may seem there is always light at the end of the tunnel, but we must be patient and determined in order to achieve our aims.

This is a story about a farmer who had a deep well. He had a horse that was old and he wanted to get rid of it because of it’s age. He asked his friends and neighbours to put the horse in the well and fill it with earth. The horse became aware that it was in great danger and as the dirt was poured into the well it shook the dust from it’s back and climbed to the top of the mound. The horse gathered all it’s strength and jumped from the highest point of the earth and escaped from the well.

Everyone marvelled at how brave, intelligent and determined the horse was. Although it was only an animal, it knew it wanted to live and wasn’t prepared to just accept it’s fate, it wanted to survive.

Sometimes a door closes, but we mustn’t surrender to disappointment, despair or worry as another door will open eventually. We must never give up, just like the horse did.

As human beings we can learn much from this. The horse was steadfast and determined in it’s resolve and we must try and be like this in our efforts to live with dignity and pride.

This is the picture taken five months after the first one and it shows how far we have come from our humble beginnings in a local park to playing matches at Barnsley Football Club. We are very grateful to the club for letting us use their facilities and providing us with our kit.

FootyTeam 2

All of us came to this country from very difficult situations in different countries and this brought us together and helped us enjoy life. This is not only because we enjoy playing football, because after the match we like to socialise by eating and drinking together. I thank God I have changed the course of my team for the better, so they are in a stronger position in Barnsley. Thank God the dream came true.

Jimmy from Barnsley