Kick It Out’s activity at grassroots level continues to be an important aspect of the organisation’s work to promote equality and inclusion as well as remove discrimination from the sport.
Realising the essential role played by grassroots clubs in their local communities, Kick It Out aims to develop understanding between different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs so they can help make football more accessible and equal for all.
The organisation is willing to provide assistance in any shape or form which will enhance inclusive practices either at a local or national grassroots level. Kick It Out can also help bridge the gap between local groups and the leading bodies within the game, who historically may have felt excluded or overlooked.
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Kick It Out aims to ensure that all communities are embraced by football and opportunities in the game are widely available to everyone. The game has the power to facilitate long-term engagement and build sustainable relationships.
Find out more on our activity with community-led initiatives below and how Kick It Out can help promote inclusive practices by clicking here.
Grassroots Events and Initiatives
CFL Community Day (May 2017)
Teams from across east London joined together on Thursday 25 May at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Chigwell Construction Stadium to participate in the Community Football League (CFL) Community Day, supported by Kick It Out.
The event saw teams from a wide spectrum of age groups participate on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Dagenham, with six teams contesting three matches over the course of the day.
Kick It Out’s Grassroots Activity Fund provided financial support to the event which welcomed over 500 people from the east London community, giving their backing to local football as well as promoting messages of equality and inclusion.
The first match saw London United take on Soul Youth in the CFL Youth League Final. In a tight affair, which was well supported by the crowd, London came out on top defeating Soul 2-1. It was then the turn of the veterans to play as Canary Wharf Group took on a CFL team. Both teams shared the spoils in a six-goal encounter.
It was then time for the main event as the CFL Final was contested between Abberfeldy and Autotunus. In another engaging encounter, it was Abberfeldy who added the CFL cup to their league success thanks to a late free-kick.
Speaking after the final match, Anam Hoque, CFL Chairman, was thrilled with the response from the local community for the event.
“We had over 500 people in attendance through the event, with different members of our east end community at the event. It even surpassed my expectations and I’m over the moon.
“It was great to see the smiles on so many faces hear today at Dagenham and I want take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to Kick It Out for supporting the event.”
Imrul Gazi, Kick It Out’s Grassroots Advisor, was delighted that the Grassroots Activity Fund could support such a prestigious event.
“I can say that this is just one of the examples of the work Kick It Out and clubs are doing at grassroots level to break down barriers and make our game more diverse.
“It’s important that the good work going on up and down the country gets recognised and we continue to try to make that difference. I looked around me today and saw so many happy faces from different communities; that’s what it’s about.
“I would encourage everyone in London to visit the Kick It Out website and download our Grassroots Activity Fund application form as we want to help where we can.”
Vallance Disability Sports Day Festival (May 2017)
Kick It Out joined Vallance Community Sports Association (VCSA) on Wednesday 10 May to promote disability inclusion in sport by supporting their Disability Sports Day Festival at Mile End Stadium.
Taking place on a beautiful Spring morning, over 100 children from the local community in Tower Hamlets were given the opportunity to take part in a number of sporting activities across the athletics stadium.
Football was the most popular sport taking place but there was also the chance for the young participants to try their hand at tennis, cricket, golf and athletics.
The day was supported by Kick It Out through its activity at grassroots level. The organisation sat alongside a number of supporters for the event including West Ham Foundation and Tower Hamlets Sports Development.
Speaking after the event, Imrul Gazi, Kick It Out’s Grassroots Advisor, was delighted the organisation could help support Vallance’s activity at Mile End.
“It’s so important that Kick It Out is involved with initiatives such as the one here today. The work I am doing with Grassroots around London goes a small way in raising awareness of the work organisations like Vallance are doing in the community.
“There is more to be done as a disabled person is still half as likely to play sport as a non-disabled person. This work will seek to challenge and change this to enable disabled people to view taking part in sport as a practical lifestyle choice.”
Mohammed Iqbal Hussain, Founder of the football academy at Vallance VCSA, said: “We’ve done a lot of work through the academy and after a while I thought ‘we need to do something for disabled people’ – and so this event came about and has been going for the past seven years.”
“The Disability Sports Day Festival has become an annual event supported by Tower Hamlets and we’re delighted that organisations such as Kick It Out have also joined to support this fantastic occasion.
“Hopefully we can continue the great work which has taken place today and spread that out to other local boroughs as well.”
North Kilworth Football Club (April 2017)
Two students from the Sir Frank Whittle Studio School in Lutterworth raised over £500 for Kick It Out after they hosted a #CallFullTimeToHate tournament on Saturday 22 April.
Thomas Coupland and George Finn, both students at Sir Frank Whittle, contacted Hayley Bennett, Education Officer at Kick It Out, to find out how they could support the organisation and promote messages of equality and inclusion in their local area.
The tournament saw seven Under-13s teams take part in a thrilling competition at North Kilworth Football Club, with over 150 people in attendance during the day. The players received bespoke designed Kick It Out medals for participating with a trophy awarded to the best player of the tournament.
The final amount raised during the tournament was a staggering £526.32.
Both Thomas and George will visit the Kick It Out office to hand-deliver the collected funds.
Following the event, Thomas spoke to Kick It Out on why he and George decided to support Kick It Out and #CallFullTimeOnHate.
“Because Leicester is such a multicultural area, we decided to contact Kick It Out to see if they would be interested in supporting our idea for an event,” he began.
“We then spoke to Hayley and she was kind enough to offer us some resources for the tournament including a trophy and medals.
“The event went really well. We had to arrive at 7.30 in the morning and get everything prepared for the day, which involved sorting the space for an ice cream van and catering. Everyone enjoyed the day and it was great to raise so much money.”
Bristol Football Festival (April 2016)
Kick It Out, alongside a number of community partners in the Bristol region, came together in the city last Friday (8 April) for a football festival event to finish the Easter school holidays on a high.
The organisation worked alongside Bristol City’s Community Trust, Gloucestershire FA and Bristol City Council’s Sport4life to stage the event at City Academy Sports Centre.
The morning saw eight to 11-year-olds take part in a number of activities, including skills sessions, shooting activities, art workshops with graffiti artist Nick Halahan and Kick It Out education workshops.
Football freestyler Frankie Vu was present throughout the day showcasing some wonderful tricks, while the afternoon session saw 12 to 18-year-olds engage in a number of football-related activities.
Troy Townsend, Education and Development Manager at Kick It Out, said: “It was great to work with partners who have an in-depth knowledge of the local area.
“The involvement of all the partners was a big benefit from our point of view and to see everything come together with lots of young people enjoying themselves, and learning some important messages about equality and anti-discrimination work, was a big positive.”
Read a full report of the event here.
Sunderland Creating Goals (February 2016)
Kick It Out helped develop relationships between the football club and the local community in Sunderland on Tuesday 16 February through ‘Sunderland Creating Goals’.
The event, run in partnership through the organisation, Fans For Diversity, Young Asian Voices (YAV) and the Foundation of Light (FoL) saw over 90 local children take part in a number of activities which encouraged teamwork and understanding between different backgrounds of the community.
Taking place at Goals Soccer Centre in the city and at the Stadium of Light, home of Premier League Sunderland AFC, the event saw separate boys and girls groups take part in football exercises, education sessions and a stadium tour.
Speaking following the conclusion of the event, Kamareswaradas Ramanathas, Project Manager at YAV, said: “It has been a great day and we are thankful to all the organisations involved.
“We work with a number of communities in Sunderland to provide opportunities and today was no different. To see young people from a number of backgrounds participating in a football tournament and other activities has been fantastic and we hope to continue this work along with Kick It Out and the Foundation of Light.”
Read a full report of the event here.
Shapla FC Launch (February 2015)
Kick It Out, in conjunction with West Riding County Football Association and Bradford City FC, held a special launch event for Shapla Football Club at the BEAP Community Centre in Bradford on Thursday 19 February.
The event acts as part of Kick It Out’s ongoing work to encourage Asian participation in grassroots and community football. The day consisted of football and education related activities to promote inclusion in Bradford, and was supported by the ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign, jointly run by Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF).
Representatives from Kick It Out, the FSF, West Riding CFA and Bradford City were involved in delivering the event which saw over 100 children take part in three activity sessions. These included a football training session inside the community centre where the children played in highly competitive matches in a friendly environment.
As part of Kick It Out’s intensified efforts to spread its core messages of equality and inclusion to the extensive grassroots network in this country, the organisation has created new partnerships to make an impact in the amateur game.
Find out more about these partnerships and how you can become a grassroots partner of Kick It Out by clicking here.
Grassroots Activity Fund
Kick It Out’s Grassroots Activity Fund is an initiative aimed at encouraging and helping with the facilitation of Grassroots activities which celebrate equality and diversity in football.
The fund has been established to facilitate small-to-medium sized events, which give grassroots clubs and organisations across the amateur and non-league game, the opportunity to highlight the importance of creating a fully-inclusive environment for all.
The fund is currently open for the London Region and the North. Find out more by clicking here.
Kick It Out is appointing grassroots advisors at a regional level to help spread the organisation’s key messages.
Increasing grassroots and community engagement with Kick It Out is a key focus of the role, as well as providing guidance on the reporting of discrimination throughout their respective local area.
In January 2017, Kick It Out appointed Imrul Gazi as the organisation’s first Grassroots Advisor for the London area. Find out more about the initiative and Imrul by clicking here.
Kick It Out is a third-party bureau which handles reports of discrimination in football across all levels of the game, including grassroots.
If you suffer or witness any form of discriminatory behaviour at grassroots level you can report this to Kick It Out. Find out more by clicking here.
In a series of features, Kick It Out has spoken to figureheads and representatives of the grassroots game as they offer their unique thoughts from the amateur and community level.
Read the exclusive feature on our website by clicking here.
In the summer of 2015, Kick It Out launched a public consultation to gathering knowledge on how to shape its future work at the grassroots level.
The consultation provided players, coaches, referees and parents with an opportunity to offer their thoughts and experiences of participating in the amateur game.
Read the results by clicking here.