Kick It Out and Premier League teams show how #EqualityInspires
Kick It Out and the Premier League’s inaugural Academy awareness weekend proved a success with Academy players, coaches and parents being made aware of the issues around discrimination and the promotion of inclusion.
The weekend marked the launch of the joint education initiative for the players, their families and coaching staff. All of these participants will undertake equality and inclusion training, delivered by Kick It Out, as the organisation seeks to reach not only players as they progress through their career, but also their biggest influences away from the football club. Kick It Out and the Premier League have committed to deliver the training to a number of age ranges in every club before the end of the 2015/16 season.
Teams across the Premier League Academy Programme posed for joint team photos in front of specially designed advertising boards with the hashtag #EqualityInspires. This was further supported by a promotional equality video that delivered key messages from important figures within the game.
Several clubs marked the weekend with special activities, whilst referees and coaches wore the iconic Kick It Out t-shirts, including the likes of Thierry Henry and former Kick It Out employee Earl Barrett now at Stoke City. Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s Education and Development Manager, delivered a workshop to parents and guardians ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur and Watford fixtures. Whilst, Liverpool FC’s U18 game versus Stoke City was shown live on the club’s TV Channel.
Kick It Out and Premier League staff were joined by a number of Kick It Out education ambassadors including Marcus Gayle, Manisha Tailor, Francis Duku and Kevin George, as Kick It Out embarked on one of its largest coordinated events in its 20+ year history.
This programme will also be supported by the release of an app exclusively for young players, to report incidents of discrimination in confidence. Building on the success of Kick It Out’s reporting app, this tailored version will include videos and news from the Premier League and its managers, as well as a unique ID number which will allow young players to report any aspect of discrimination in confidence.
Roisin Wood, Kick It Out’s Director said: “Kick It Out works closely with professional clubs, but while our awareness among professional players is high, it is vitally important that we make an impression on young players who may go on to be the professional footballers of tomorrow.
“It’s also important to remind them that in today’s day and age what they do off the pitch is almost as important as what they do on the pitch and our educational work helps with that understanding. It also reminds them that whoever they may represent throughout their career, Kick It Out will be available for them should they ever need us.”