Vincent Pericard calls on Guidance Group members to be the ‘heroes of tomorrow’
Vincent Pericard marked the opening of Kick It Out’s Guidance Groups at Deloitte HQ, Central London, last night (16 July 2013) with an inspirational speech, urging his fellow members to be the heroes of tomorrow’s generation.
The former Juventus striker outlined the positive role models that currently exist within the game that are challenging stereotypes and discrimination.
“Kolo Toure recently spoke about what the holy month of Ramadan means to him,” said Vincent. “We also learned from Dr Zaf Iqbal, Liverpool FC Club Doctor, what initiatives and practices the club are putting in place to prepare their players for Ramadan.”
Vincent, who will chair the Professional Players Guidance Group, believes players such as Robbie Rogers, football’s only active openly gay player are the ‘heroes for today’. He commented: “Robbie Rogers and others such as Hope Powell are the heroes of today, all group members should strive to be the heroes of tomorrow and create our own legacy.”
The Guidance Groups will assist Kick It Out’s strategies, objectives and actions through the expertise the members have gained in their respective fields. Kick It Out will cover three key areas to ensure that the organisation maximises their impact – Grassroots, Professional Players and the governing of the Professional game.
The evening, attended by the likes of Harpal Singh, Richard Langley and Lyndon Lynch, began with an opening speech by Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley who underlined the important role effective partnerships have, and continue to play, for the organisation. He explained:”We have always seen our work as collaborative, with our partners and from the grassroots to the right of the top of the game.”
He added: “Racism was rife in 1993, however to some extent we are still in 1993. We have made tremendous progress, but there is still much to be done.”
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out also echoed these sentiments, and, also added that these groups will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of Kick It Out.
“Tonight is about our members, we want you to steer the direction of the group. We hope you challenge us and support us in driving discrimination out of the game.”
A brief overview of the Deloitte Sports Network was provided by Mike Sobers and Mark Roberts before Lucy Faulkner, chair of Professional Game Guidance Group, spoke of her pride in being selected for this group. She said: “We felt valued to be chosen for this group, I now want the groups to bring innovative suggestions and ideas to the table.”
The chair of the Grassroots Game Guidance Group, Jim Lusted, was thankful that Kick It Out recognised the importance of covering the area he is very passionate about. As a lecturer in equality issues around sport, he believes it is essential that the grassroots game is given greater attention by the governing bodies.
“I see this guidance group as very critical for Kick It Out. We know so little about it, as it is often ignored by funders and governing bodies,” said Jim.
He continued: “There are more problems ingrained in grassroots, as discrimination is more prevalent and often can be violent.”
The members of the groups, who include people such as Alistair Patrick Heselton and Lincoln Moses, will attend regular meetings throughout the year, where they will discuss key anti discrimination and equality issues around their respective Guidance Group area.