Kit ‘em Out Winners Awarded
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, announced the winners of their Kit ‘Em Out challenge at the National Football Museum in Manchester on Wednesday 24 June.
The competition, sponsored by BPP University, provided young people aged 5-18 with the opportunity to design a bespoke kit for their community, grassroots or school football team, which champions the spirit of their squad and promotes Kick It Out’s key messages of equality and inclusion.
The event was held to acknowledge the great designs that were received from all over the country, and to present the winners with their accolades.
Women’s Super League stars Isobel Christiansen and Bethany England presented the winners with certificates and Kick It Out goodie bags which were presented to the runners up in each of the five age categories, with additional prizes awarded to the category winners from the clubs they support.
Young people were invited to attend a mini-trail of the museum with special questions on diversity devised by Kick It Out’s Education Programme while Denise Lambert from the National Football Museum’s education team delivered a workshop to older children.
Invited guests, locals schools and visitors to the museum all enjoyed a performance of ‘Dare to Dream’ from Manchester based Choir, Every Colour. The song can be downloaded for free from here.
Manchester City’s Isobel Christiansen and Doncaster Belle’s Bethany England, who both represent England at U23 level, presented the trophies to the top three winning designs and congratulated the overall competition winner.
Both players were enthused by the diversity of ideas presented by young people. Bethany, who combines her playing career with her studies, said:
“Young people always have ideas, and this event brings them together and creates a good environment for young people and for them to see what they can achieve. It’s tricky to balance studies and football. You have to know when you can train and when you have to take a step back because of exams and getting your priorities right.
“I’m quite organised so training is set, deadlines are set and try to work around the two. BPP have helped with studies and football. (BPP Vice Chancellor) Carl Lygo gave me lots of help and lecturers are always on hand. It’s a friendly and nice environment. To make history, like England have done [in the Women’s World Cup] will hopefully give confidence to young footballers to do more.”
The winning entrant, who will have their kit produced by UK manufacturers Spall, was 15 year-old Lisa Barnard of Princes Risborough School, Buckinghamshire. Lisa’s entry was designed for her school team and she describes how she took inspiration from the school’s logo:
“I was very shocked to win. I wanted to include the school’s logo in the design and our school has a swan with chains on it. I’m hoping the school will be really proud to wear the kit. I saw the link on Twitter and went for it. I’m really into art design and sport so this competition was perfect for me!”
The kit will feature logos of both Kick It Out and BPP University. Hayley Bennett, Kick It Out’s Education Officer, was pleased that the work of young people was recognised:
“Events like Kit ‘em Out allows us as an organisation to highlight positivity in football, with young people and their creativity being the main driver in its success.
“Education is a really important part of Kick It Out, and for us to be able to engage young people in a fantastic setting like the National Football Museum is a really effective way to spread our key messages of equality and inclusion.”
Mark Griffiths, Operations Director at BPP University said:
“Equality and diversity is really important to what we do as a business. Kit ‘em Out is a really great fit for us with its work in the community. I feel privileged that we’ve been able to be a part of this initiative with Kick It Out and it’s great that the young people are so enthused to be part of such a meaningful campaign.”
Winners and runners up:
5-6 age category – Idris Sheikh
7-9 age category – Leah Bray
10-12 age category – Millie Smith
13-15 age category – Lisa Barnard
16-18 age category – Reece Evans
Overall Winner: Lisa Barnard
Overall 2nd place: Leah Bray
Overall 3rd place: Alexandria Noon