Bridges & Barriers - City-Wide School Football Festival


Our 2017-2018 end of project B&B Festival took place on Thursday 22nd March 2018 and was hailed a huge success by all involved.  14 out of the 30 partner schools (46%) participated in the B&B Football Festival. However, the enthusiasm with which the schools, pupils and Active Schools Coordinators (ASC) brought to the event was very encouraging. 83 pupils in total attended which saw 26 Girls and 57 Boys take part. Our percentage of girls involved in the project increased from 8% at the start to 40% towards the end. We hope to increase this further in the future to reach a more diverse school demographic to pass on the message of anti-sectarianism awareness.

We aim to have a higher percentage of schools at the festival next time and to make it an annual event on all ASC and school calendars. As we didn’t know how many schools would sign up for the project we didn’t know how many schools we were able to include until the end of January once we got our last schools signed up.  This makes the achievement of engaging with the pupils, schools and ASC with the B&B project stand out more as it is the biggest B&B Festival we have ever held. 


We have successfully developed trust and communication with the Glasgow Active Schools (AS) team (NW, NE & S) which is the main reason for the project achieving a city-wide approach. These new schools and AS Coordinators have never worked with us before and have been getting to know us and the project as it progressed. We thank them for their great efforts and can look forward to more support to help us expand the project.

Alongside the partnership success of working closely with Active Schools Glasgow and PEPASS we also must acknowledge that NKSDG have now organised our biggest B&B Festival yet. As many schools as possible attended and the event was a positive experience for all involved. Many schools struggled due to short staffing issues but those that attended were very enthusiastic to play football with other pupils from other schools in the project.

The schools represented at the Festival were: St Charles (played with Oakgrove pupils); St Marys (played with Sandaig pupils) ; Bankhead; St Rochs & Royston; Whiteinch & St Paul’s; Riverside & St Saviours; Avenue End (played with Royston pupils); 2 teams from St Josephs & Oakgrove; Sandaig; and St Francis of Assisi.


You can read Twitter posts and more from the Festival below:

“Brilliant morning of football at the Bridges & Barriers Anti sectarian event. @RiversideGovan @StSavioursGovan #Teamwork. Thanks to Andy and his team” (@activeschoolsAD)

See below for tweet from St Francis of Assisi following the B&B Festival at their School Assembly:

“At assembly we celebrated our #Bridges&Barriers footballers who were recently awarded their fair play award! We are so proud of our footballers! Thank you for a fantastic festival” (@sfaosport)

All the pupils from St Rochs & Royston & Avenue End got on very well with each other and contributed well in their sessions as well as really going the extra mile at the B&B Festival.  Their ASC was a great help to us and to the pupils and schools with Fraser driving the minibus and transporting the pupils from Royston and Avenue End to and from the Festival venue. This is a great example to other ASC about how they can help everyone and allow the pupils opportunities to be involved in more.  Many schools struggled with lack of staff for adult supervision to accompany the children from the B&B Project to the B&B Festival. Some examples of how well the pupils worked with others is below:

“Great to see Avenue End & Royston pupils working so well together at the Bridges & Barriers Football Festival today! Fantastic attitude from everyone involved!” (@fraser_active)

“Ave End/Royston v St Rochs/Royston at the Bridges & Barriers Football Festival. Pupils having great fun!”


Super Soccer was the venue for the Festival, chosen for 4 indoor pitches and a central location. The logistics involved for us, the schools and ASC was considerable and was a great collective effort from all involved.  We would look to make this an annual city-wide event at a larger indoor football venue to accommodate more schools such as SoccerWorld which has 7 indoor pitches.


ASC, pupils, school assistants and NKSDG staff were video interviewed by Lisa Gallacher from Youthlink Scotland and Action on Sectarianism. Watch this space and our Facebook and Twitter pages later this year for the promotional video once it is complete!

In addition, Lisa also filmed at a B&B school session later the same day as the Festival.  This will add to the video showing more of the project than just the Festival at the end. Lisa is creating a B&B promotional video from this project which will help us massively in terms of getting our message to a wider community and expand our footprint. 

B&B has allowed children of denominational and non-denominational schools to come together and create friendships without the barriers or the stigma attached to attending these schools. In addition, as in all sessions, there were children of many different cultural backgrounds.