Liverpool Ladies Jess Clarke begins Kick It Out ambassador role at school event
Liverpool Ladies Forward Jess Clarke felt ‘privileged’ to support Kick It Out at an educational event in Liverpool last Thursday (15 March), as part of her first appearance working as an ambassador for the organisation.
The 28-year-old visited Arnot St Mary’s Primary School alongside Paul Mortimer, Kick It Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager, to deliver an equality workshop to Year 3-6 pupils.
“Today was fantastic,” Jess said. “It was a great opportunity to come here and spread awareness of equality and inclusion with pupils, to see where they’re at such a young age and to meet some of the characters. It seemed like they were really well-educated but today’s presentation would have highlighted a few more key messages for them.”
She continued: “I was really privileged to be asked – I feel like I’ve got a lot to give in terms of my route into football, the pathway that I’ve taken and my experiences, and I’m really grateful to be able to share those with others to educate them.”
During the event, Jess was on hand to help Paul discuss Kick It Out’s work, as well as reflect on language and behaviour around key equality issues such as racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.
Jess was able to share some of her own personal understanding of discrimination with the pupils and she believes this helped her have an impact with the group.
She explained: “I think being an ambassador, you have to look at your own experiences and other people’s experiences too – how they’ve dealt with discrimination and then how they’ve implemented those lessons into their lives. I feel like that is going to help me as an individual and as an ambassador to progress and help others.”
Paul was delighted with Jess’ enthusiasm during her first equality workshop and believes she will only go from strength-to-strength in terms of her impact on young people’s understanding of equality.
“You could tell the pupils were listening very carefully to everything Jess had to say and she played an important role in helping them focus on the information they were given,” he said. “As a professional footballer, Jess is a role model for young people and it’s brilliant to see her using her status to have a positive influence.
“I look forward to planning more events with Jess and continuing our efforts together in the local Liverpool community!”
Following a detailed session filled with challenging discussions around equality, the pupils were given an opportunity to take photos with Jess and ask her about her career as a footballer.
Jess thoroughly enjoyed her first taste of her ambassadorial duties for Kick It Out and hopes that this event was just the beginning of her part in the fight against discrimination.
“Even after football it’s something I’d love to be involved in,” she said. “I think what Kick It Out is trying to achieve is fantastic and I’d be really grateful if I could continue to play a role. I like the idea of helping and educating others.
“It helps change people’s mindsets – whether it’s within sport, within schools or all different parts of society – it’s a real honour to be a part of that.”