Looking ahead to Non League Day 2018
This weekend marks English football’s annual Non League Day – an initiative Kick It Out have partnered for seven years.
Ahead of the day, which will see our biggest ever involvement with the project, we checked in with some of the clubs dedicating fixtures to our work to see what they plan to get up to.
Six clubs will dedicate their games to football’s equality and inclusion organisation this year – a record number.
In Merseyside, Southport FC, who compete in the Conference North, will hold a walking football tournament on the pitch before kick-off.
The Sandygrounders have donated free tickets to their match to schools across the county to give youngsters the chance to potentially watch football live for the first time and find out more about the club.
If they’re not impressed with the football, inflatables around the ground should keep them entertained while specially-branded Southport FC cakes will also be available to buy.
First team manager Liam Watson said: “Non League Day is such an important time for a club like Southport as it gives us an opportunity to show people in the local community that the club is here for them.
He added: “There’s always a feel-good factor around the place and hopefully it brings new supporters to the club to join us on our journey.”
Meanwhile in Staffordshire, Tamworth FC of the newly-formed Southern League Premier Central league will host West Midlands neighbours Redditch.
The Lambs’ media team will celebrate the diversity of their first team squad by taking group photos and conducting player interviews on the importance of inclusion in football and the work of anti-discrimination organisations like Kick It Out.
Those first team players not involved in the match day squad will be available to meet junior supporters ahead of kick-off. They will also take part in a Q&A session with fans before the game, which will cover a wide range of topics including Kick It Out’s work.
Cottage Farm Rangers – a junior football team from the area – will also be in attendance on the day. The football club, which has teams from the under-8 age group upwards, will provide a guard of honour for the players during their walk out and hold Kick It Out and Non League Day banners and flags.
Tamworth will also be supporting a kit for Africa initiative on the day, and will make a presentation to the charity at half time.
All six non-league teams are planning extra activity at their matches to encourage engagement with a diverse range of communities, including local residents and young people.
The full list of teams dedicating fixtures to Kick It Out is:
Worksop Town vs Bottesford
Southport FC vs York City
Tamworth FC vs Redditch Utd
Sporting Khalsa vs Winsford Utd
Edgware Town vs Biggleswade FC
Burgess Hull vs Haringey Borough