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November 18, 2019
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Football gives Travellers a sporting chance

London, 20.7.2011 13:27, (Guardian)

Premier League football club aims to encourage other teams to promote the game to Roma and Travelling communities.

Jason McCarthy has just scored a hat-trick against Bitty United. "They took it very well considering we won 8-3," he acknowledges. The "we" is a team called Goals Before Heroics, or GBH for short. "There are black lads, Asian lads, some white British lads and five are Travellers such as myself," McCarthy explains.

The accent is Irish, although he was born in Southall, west London, 22 years ago. "That's probably because we go back and forth to Ireland a lot," he says. It could also be a reflection of the insularity of a community that, although long settled in the London borough of Ealing, has never felt at home.

The Ealing Travellers' Achievement Service has set out to address that problem. Its manager, Jake George, spotted McCarthy's footballing skills and helped to put them at the disposal of Moving the Goalposts, Queens Park Rangers' initiative to provide high-quality sporting facilities for local Travelling communities. McCarthy is doing his grade 2 coaching certificate with QPR's community trust.

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Chris Arnot
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