As you may already be aware, Wycombe Wanderers FC and Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust are both supporting the Kick It Out organisation’s “Season of Action” campaign which aims to reduce the levels of discrimination in and around football.
It does this by acting as a focal point for professional clubs, grassroots teams, community groups and schools to join together and celebrate footballs ability to unite people from all different back grounds. In addition the campaign provides an extended opportunity for those involved in football to dedicate their commitment to equality and diversity and showcase how much work takes place throughout the year to promote football as a comfortable and inclusive environment.
Unfortunately campaigns such as these are necessary as instances of discrimination within football are still all too prevalent despite the huge strides that have been made in recent years to combat unwelcome behaviour.
So much of this progress has been achieved through the hard work carried out by Kick It Out since they were created by the Commission for Racial Equality and The Professional Footballers Association (The PFA) in 1993 under the name “Lets Kick Racism Out of Football”.
In 1997 the organisation evolved to become known as Kick It Out, and they expanded their aims by attempting to banish all forms of discrimination, not just racism, from football. Now funded by the FA, the Premier League, the Football Foundation and The PFA, Kick It Out currently work with the football authorities, professional clubs, players, fans and communities to tackle all forms of discrimination. Their relentless campaigning has been pivotal in persuading and supporting the games stakeholders to take seriously their responsibility to ensure equality.
Kick It Out’s vision, which underpins all of their work, is to make football a sport where people can flourish in a supportive community, and where fairness is openly and transparently practiced and enforced for the good of all participants. Specifically their strategic objectives are to:
- Significantly increase the awareness of inclusion and diversity, and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour across all levels of football.
- To actively share good practice, critical actions, and partnership working to empower and support football organisations to develop their own responsibility towards greater equality and fairness.
- To clearly show the importance of exposing inequalities and the positive value and impact that can be made through collective preventative action.
In order to assist Kick It Out with raising awareness of the problem of discrimination Wycombe Wanderers are hoping their involvement will send a clear message that we as a football club want to actively promote equality in all walks of life. As part of last Saturday’s activities WWSET decided to run an art competition to see if we could find a local youngster who could design a programme cover for the Stevenage match which spreads the message of inclusion and/or anti-discrimination.
Having received around 150 entries it was a tough ask to pick just one winner but after much deliberation 1st team manager Gareth Ainsworth chose 11 year old Sadie Horsley’s fantastic design as shown here. Everybody from the club would like to congratulate Sadie and we hope that you enjoy seeing your artwork being used by the club
In addition to running the art competition which aimed to provoke discussion and ultimately educate local children that individual differences should be accepted and embraced rather than being ridiculed or feared, WWSET were also giving out stickers, pens and wristbands to young people around the ground to try to get them thinking about the message being delivered.
In other news from WWSET there are numerous upcoming football activities being delivered by WWSET that people may be interested in:
- Their Social Inclusion & Mental Wellbeing sessions are now taking place every Monday and are free to come along to. Further details can be found on their website wwset.co.uk.
- Easter Holiday Football Courses can be booked via their website. They have four courses running in both week one and week two of the holidays and these are taking place in High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Maidenhead and Chesham. Bookings can be made directly through their website.
- Keep your eyes peeled for more information on a brand new Saturday morning football session that will be beginning on April 16th right here in High Wycombe.