Supporters Direct Scotland were at Cliftonhill on Saturday for the first Colours of our Scarves event of the new season, attending the match between Albion Rovers and Annan Athletic. As well as the photographic exhibition in the lead up to the match, SDS also conducted a focus group with individuals from the local community to discuss their perceptions and thoughts on sectarianism in the Coatbridge area. The response to the session was very positive and allowed those involved to not only have their say on the issue of sectarianism in the community today, but also to suggest ways in which it could be tackled by the relevant authorities nationwide.
Following on from a successful pilot scheme at the end of the 2013/14 season, the Colours of our Scarves project will be continuing in the new season, visiting all remaining senior Scottish football stadiums.
From January of March of this year, SDS visited Falkirk, Hamilton, Dundee and Leith to deliver workshops and focus groups in the local communities, as well as presenting a photographic exhibition on match days, with images from renowned football photographer, Stuart Roy Clarke.
In the coming weeks SDS will be at Elgin City, Stranraer and Montrose as the project is taken nationwide to canvass opinion on issues relating to sectarianism in their local areas.
The issue of sectarianism in Scotland is one that has been discussed and debated, with countless attempts to address the issue seeing varying levels of success from Governments, Charitable organisations, Football clubs and independent bodies. Sectarianism itself is a deep rooted cultural issue that dates back generations and effects society as a whole. Sectarianism has traditionally been perceived to manifest itself through football supporters at football matches and football related events through language, song and actions which in some cases have led to violence and unfortunately even murder.
Supporters Direct Scotland through the creation of The Colours of our Scarves programme with Scottish Government funding will attempt to help play a part in addressing the issue. The programme will collect much needed research through a nationwide campaign of educational workshops and visual displays utilising the services of world famous football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke. The Colours of our Scarves will work in partnership with all senior Football clubs across Scotland and football’s national governing body.