Premier League stars and community figures come together at House of Lords
The curtain was drawn on a year of activity this week as friends of Kick It Out gathered at the House of Lords to celebrate the One Game, One Community weeks of action.
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, welcomed the attendees with a speech in which he reiterated the firm stance being taken to combat issues which continue to hamper the game.
Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP echoed Lord Ouseley’s sentiments before handing out a series of One Game, One Community awards.
First to receive their honour was Liverpool FC, who emerged victorious in the club category. The accolade was presented to Reds representatives Bill Bygroves and Rishi Jain before London FA claimed the County FA award, with Inclusion Officer Darren Smith picking up the honour.
Rob Burton from Disablement Association Hillingdon (DASH) was then rewarded for his vast work across the west London region by winning the community award. Next, the grassroots honour was awarded to Rimla Akhtar for her impressive contribution as the Chair of the influential Muslim Women Sports Foundation.
Lastly, Paul Canoville collected the player accolade for being a long-term advocate and supporter of Kick It Out. Paul has played an instrumental part in delivering the campaign’s Movin’ On Up initiative, in which ex-professional sportsmen and women visit prisons to talk about how they overcame their own personal battles to make a living on the outside.
The campaign’s Annual Report was also launched, profiling all areas of Kick It Out’s educational and community sectors work, before guests at the event mingled in and amongst each other to discuss the year in review.
Fulham defender Brede Hangeland and Tottenham Hotspur stars Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong came along to show their support, whilst various figures from the football authorities and grassroots level up and down the country were also in attendance.