Bridges & Barriers

Bridges and Barriers is the North Kelvin Sports Development Group’s successful anti-sectarian project that has been delivered across the north-west of Glasgow since August 2013. Our flagship program is back with a bang for 2019/20 with lots of new and exciting news to come this coming school year. Due to the continued success and growth of B&B we are delighted to have added Conor Mitchell in 2018, in addition to Chelsie Watson in 2019, both bringing a host of new skills to the team.


Bridges and Barriers has been the organisations flagship community project since its inception in 2013. Our Scottish Government funded project has achieved a tremendous amount of success delivering anti-sectarian education across our community through a variety of delivery sites using a set of specifically tailored teaching resources developed by project staff. The project addresses the key behaviour traits that result in sectarianism whilst also addressing the relevant language, historical and cultural context and personal rights and responsibilities.

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The project has used our successful delivery model of promoting personal and social development by providing educational workshops alongside sports participation.

This has proven extremely effective as sport is used as an incentive and a reward for engaging in short educational workshops.

These sessions have proven to be extremely popular by participants and community partners as this entirely free service is delivered by respected staff who have developed positive relationships with the client group through sports participation in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.


Andrew is the Project Coordinator for our award-winning Bridges & Barriers project. He has brought with him relevant, progressive experience and a passion for developing community projects that deliver social change. Andrew has been able to create new and lasting partnerships with Active Schools Coordinators all throughout Glasgow and beyond since August 2017. Andrew is the main coach delivering sessions but also manages all aspects of the project as well as developing coaches and volunteers to deliver these sessions. 

"In the last few years, I have developed award winning projects for AMsoccer Club and Links Park Community Trust. In Montrose I created sustainable projects for LPCT such as Mental Health Football sessions at the Susan Carnegie Centre, Walking Football, Women's Walking Football, Health Walks, Walk Leader Training, Football Memories (for people who live with dementia) and also a sports related Employability Programme with the DWP Previous to LPCT, in Cupar with AMS, I was the Club Coordinator that delivered and managed programmes of over 300 players plus parents for children aged 3-12 years old. I was always looking to make a big impact and was happy to create Scotland's first Modern Apprenticeship for Football Coaching in Scotland via Sports Academy of Scotland. We also took 600 players and families to Brazil over 4 weeks for the 2014 World Cup! I also created a lasting Twin Town educational relationship in France. Since being given the opportunity at North Kelvin Sports with their flagship B&B anti-sectarianism project I have relished the chance to put all my experience and skills into practice! I love community work and in particular project work. This is especially true for me when it can play an important part in improving society through education and action. NKSDG are passionate about creating opportunities as well as making a difference in the wider community."

Project Officer - Conor Mitchell

“I have brought to the team a wealth of experience in both coaching and development in community and performance environments. I have coached young people from the ages of 2-16 within different local authority’s over the last 3 and a half years’. Alongside this I have participated in diversional work with young people combating issues such as drug, alcohol awareness and anti-social behaviour. During my time at university I gained a 1st class honours degree in sports development from UWS. Within this course I have worked on a host of projects and modules including research into the history of sectarianism within Scotland and the impact it has had on modern society. This has provided me with a key insight into issues and mechanisms surrounding the subject.”

B&B North Ayrshire Lead Coach - Chelsie Watson

I have gained great knowledge, understanding and experience over the last 6 years which I will bring to the team as well as enthusiasm, energy and motivation. From coaching and delivering sessions and workshops through a variety of sports clubs and charities, I have also developed and utilised skills which I gained whilst achieving my Honours Degree from UWS. I have delivered a range of programmes to participants from 3-17 years old, from mini kickers sessions to employability projects which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Having previous experience in working on anti sectarianism projects, I have a great insight into the history and issues which relate to this topic.

Growing The Program

We are never happy with resting on our laurels with B&B and are aiming to build on the success of last 2017’s program by increasing our number of partner schools by 50% from 16 partnerships to 24. This will allow us to promote awareness of anti-sectarianism and increasing the projects footprint for P6/7 school children. New partnerships we have built up has allowed us to make inroads into the south side of the city and surrounding local authorities.

This creates new opportunities for the team to continue with our complimentary education and partnership working. Involved are: Active Schools Coordinators (ASC), Glasgow City Council (GCC) primary schools; GCC’s Theresa Breslin’s ‘Divided City’ P7 curricular novel; surrounding local authorities (North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire & East Renfrewshire); Sense Over Sectarianism (especially their Communities United program); Youthlink Scotland; and Action On Sectarianism (AOS).

In addition, we are looking to pilot a S6 Sports Leader mentoring programme at secondary schools. This will be carried out by teaching the sports mentors and leaders how to deliver the B&B workshops, allowing them to deliver it to their previous primary schools. This will help develop the pupils’ CV’s and employment skills. We have already brought the successful B&B model to secondary schools in Glasgow in 2018-2019 and will look to develop this further also.



North Kelvin United has always been an inclusive club that has promoted equality, understanding, and respect.

The football club has proven to be an excellent vehicle for delivering Bridges and Barriers workshops to young people and adults which has allowed us to instil the club’s values across the entire club.

Our educational resource packs, which have been approved for use by Education Scotland, have also been accessed by community football clubs across Glasgow and staff have delivered education and training on  behalf of Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, Street League and the Scottish FA.


Bridges & Barriers Promotional Video


Stephen Fraser, ASC, North Ayrshire

“I was thoroughly impressed with the Bridges and Barriers project as the content was well structured and well delivered. Pupils enjoyed the interactive tasks which allowed them to engage with pupils from a different school within the local area. I felt the interaction along with the content around differences in people provided pupils with key information at a crucial stage in their life I was really impressed with how the relationships of the pupils developed in such a short space of time and would highly recommend the project to other schools.”

Danielle Boyce, Classroom Assistant at St Paul’s PS (partnered with Whiteinch PS)

“Firstly, I would like to thank you for having St. Paul's along at the Bridges and Barriers every Wednesday, the kids really enjoyed themselves, as did I.  Also, thank you for the invitation to the tournament on Thursday, they all loved it and it was great to see so many schools take part, and as you said, girls especially! 

You have done great with this project and as football is a huge interest of not only the kids, but me, it was good to see the different views in which kids have and they definitely enjoyed engaging in conversations (and debates) around the subject of Celtic and Rangers! They loved working with Whiteinch, and they have made some friends there which is a bonus. They all got along great at the tournament as a team, which is something they struggle to do with one another in our school team, so thank you!! Once again, thank you and a huge well done to you all on the success of your project! Thanks.”

Arlene McClure, Deputy Head Teacher at Croftfoot Primary School

“Thank you for organising the festival and our all girl football team had a fabulous time! The girls have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the programme and we would like to continue working with you on it. Our P7 classes usually use the “Divided City“ book as a context for learning in term 3. If we could book in for the sessions starting in January as this would tie in with our theme. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards.”  

Primary 6 & 7 Pupils from St. Mark's PS, Irvine

"I wouldn't change any of it." "It was fun being part of the tournament."
"It was good working with Woodlands." "It would be good having a few more games."
"I really enjoyed working with many other schools."
"Getting schools together to tackle sectarianism is worth it."
"We called ourselves "St. Woodland's" because we were a good team and worked well together."
"We had a good laugh with the other schools."
"No blame, no row if something went wrong. It was all about the football."
"I liked the fact that everyone was able to succeed - we were all given a medal at the end." "I felt proud to be part of it." "We felt as if the coaches were really good and fair!"

Nadia Buchert, Principal Teacher, St Peter's Primary School (Ardrossan)

“The content of the sessions has clearly been carefully created to provide an appropriate level of challenge and discussion for our young learners and their peers. The aims of the project complement our school’s work on anti-sectarianism and participation in the sessions has allowed us to address curricular outcomes relating to social issues, rights and equality.”

Marie-Anne Watson, DHT, St Angela’s Primary School

“In St Angela’s Primary we were delighted to be involved in the Bridges and Barriers Anti Sectarian Programme in conjunction with our neighbours in Darnley Primary. This programme was delivered with such enthusiasm and commitment that it had a massive impact on the pupils involved. It very much increased their awareness of equality, tolerance and respect. Pupils who attended shared their experiences with their peers and we were only sorry that we could not have more in this worthwhile venture!  I could not recommend this programme too highly, thank you, for all your support and input.”

Primary 6 & 7 Pupils from Woodlands PS, Irvine

“It built up, we learned about things step by step and every week there was something new” “It had good lessons for life, taught us about sportsmanship.”
“I liked mixing with another school and meeting new children.”
“It was good getting Catholic and Non-Catholic working together – I’d like to do this more.”
“I liked having mixed, random teams – it was different every time.”