Kick It Out and Premier League set to host second Academy Awareness Weekend
Kick It Out and the Premier League are pleased to confirm that the second Academy Awareness Weekend will take place between October 21 and 23 2016, with AFC Bournemouth hosting the first game this Friday (21 October).
Last year’s inaugural weekend was a great success with 23 fixtures, from the Premier League Academy Programme dedicated to raising awareness of the Equality Inspires education workshops.
Clubs involved in the Premier League Academy structure will come together to celebrate the inclusive environments at their clubs.
The Equality Inspires Programme was launched by Kick It Out and the Premier League to deliver equality and inclusion training for everyone involved with the club Academies, including club staff, players and their parents and guardians.
The workshops encourage participants to reflect on key topics surrounding dressing room ‘banter’ and its potential impact, discriminatory behaviour and practices, with the aim of ensuring the next generation of footballers are well-rounded and respectful of an inclusive environment.
Over the weekend the work being undertaken at clubs will be recognised, with Academies across the country coming together to promote and recognise Kick It Out, as well as demonstrating young players’ commitment to a game free from discrimination.
Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s Education and Development Manager, praised the success of the programme to date and thanked the Premier League for their continued support.
Troy said: “The first season of Equality Inspires was a great success with Kick It Out visiting 17 of the 20 Premier League clubs and delivering 72 workshops to over 1,200 people involved in the Academy structure.
“The clubs bought into the concept of Equality Inspires and we want to continue having a real impact on young players, many of whom will forge a career in the game in some capacity. It’s crucial that we provide them with the tools to understand the importance of equality and inclusion and discrimination.”
Martyn Heather, Premier League Head of Education added: “Our aim is to ensure that the young players coming up through the Academy system, their parents and guardians, and our club staff all work together to create an environment free from exclusion. The Equality Inspires programme allows us to raise awareness of the importance of equality both through education and through playing the game itself.
“Last year’s Academy Awareness Weekend was a great success and we hope to be able to build on that this year. The creation of an academy player app and the Equality Inspires Award this season, show the progression being made in this area, and signal the importance of this ongoing partnership between the Premier League and Kick It Out.”
The Academy Awareness Weekend features some great fixtures with the likes of Spurs and Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke, Everton and Middlesbrough and Manchester United and Sunderland facing each other on Saturday (22 October) at Under-18 and Under-16 level.
On Sunday (23 October), 14 clubs will host fixtures in recognition of the weekend, including Arsenal, Southampton and West Ham United at Under-9 to Under-15 level.