I WANT to use this opportunity to give you a quick snapshot of our work, and an insight into how we will be using our ‘Season of Action’ to further our impact across all areas of football and the communities we serve.
The ‘Season of Action’ was introduced last season to recognise our 20th anniversary, and we’ve decided to continue with this format as we feel it provides the best platform to demonstrate the level of work we deliver throughout the year.
The support of Premier League and Football League clubs has been crucial throughout the history of Kick It Out, and dedicating games to the ‘Season of Action’ and hosting non-match day activities to promote our ethos has an incredible impact.
For example, 1,114,323 spectators attended nominated ‘Season of Action’ fixtures across the Premier League and Football League during the 2013/14 season. With many professional football clubs acting as the hub for their local community, reinforcing their commitment to equality and diversity is vital.
This year’s ‘Season of Action’ has a specific focus on promoting grassroots and community activity and professional football clubs have a responsibility to spread the message of inclusivity, unity and togetherness to all of their local stakeholders throughout the season and beyond.
“As an organisation, we are determined to strengthen our presence at the grassroots and community level to help further educate the future players, coaches, fans and administrators of the game on the need to banish all forms of discrimination, prejudiced attitudes and abusive behaviour from football.
We are leading a real drive to engage more with grassroots and community projects, and supporters groups – especially through our ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign with the Football Supporters’ Federation – and have several exciting initiatives running throughout the ‘Season of Action’.
We are providing supplementary resources, running a national educational competition, delivering school workshops, developing our partnership work with County FAs, and facilitating player visits led by our ‘Next 20’ ambassadors from across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League.
There will also be a series of regional and national conferences delivered by our Mentoring and Leadership Project as we look to provide more aspiring individuals eager to break into the football industry with job opportunities, work placements and qualifications.
As always, a big push is being made to publicise our reporting mechanisms – the Kick It Out app, our online reporting form and freephone service – far and wide. One incident is one too many, and we must ensure there is a policy of zero tolerance from the professional game through to the grassroots and community level of football.
Everybody in football has a part to play in tackling discrimination. Everything we do is built on partnership work and we want to hear from anybody during our ‘Season of Action’ who would like to get involved and support what we do for the benefit of football. Thank you for reading!