Kick It Out support young people in Sunderland through community event
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.
The boys group started with a five-a-side football tournament at Goals. The matches were played in a competitive and friendly manner and saw Boldon Youth win the Under-16s competition in a penalty shoot-out whilst the team from YAV picked up the Under-18s honours.
The girls group began their day with an education workshop on the work of Kick It Out, delivered by Hayley Bennett, Education Officer, and Anna Jӧnsson, Reporting Officer alongside the Foundation.
Dealing with anger and challenging discrimination were the key themes from the session. Hayley asked the girls to describe discrimination and how it impacts individuals and society.
Hayley spoke about the positive impact of the session: “The girls group were engaged with the workshop and our messages of equality and inclusion. They came up with some great ideas on how to tackle discrimination and it was a pleasure to work with such a responsive group.”
In the afternoon, each group took part in a different activity as the girls took part in an Soccercise and Zumba sessions with staff from FoL whilst the boys were involved with the education session delivered by Kick It Out.
The third and final activity saw each group go on a separate tour of the Stadium of Light, visiting the home and away dressing rooms before walking through the tunnel and viewing the inside of the ground pitch-side.
Finally, the winners of the football tournament received trophies from Sunderland legend Gary Bennett.
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.”
Anwar Uddin, Lead on the Fans For Diversity campaign, said: “Sunderland Creating Goals was a brilliant event which captured the importance of clubs working with their local community to spread the message of equality for all.
“The girls and boys seemed to take a lot from their activities. With so many of them attending on a freezing half-term day, it clearly displayed their passion for the beautiful game and the need for professional clubs to embrace that.”