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Football tackling discrimination and promoting inclusion

Copyrights: Kitlocker

Football tackling discrimination and promoting inclusion

Footballing organisations in the UK are keeping up the pressure to combat discrimination through a range of strategies allowing players from all walks of life to feel welcome on the pitch.

Many children report difficulties fitting in. According to the NSPCC, in 2016/17 there were over 24,000 Childline counselling sessions with children around the subject of bullying.

The Football Association takes the issue of bullying extremely seriously and has already introduced a zero tolerance approach to disrespectful behaviour in the game. This stance includes an equality policy which states ‘Football is for everyone; it belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, anyone who wants to participate in it’.

The Football Association equality policy aims to ensure that everybody is treated equally and with respect. It also states that the Association will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation.

A number of independent charities and organisations also work hard on the sidelines to root out discrimination. Kick It Out has been tackling prejudice and intolerance for a number of years, with support from Premier League clubs including Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

Oli Brierley, Head of Marketing at Kitlocker, said: “In today’s environment of increased social media communication, people find it harder than ever to connect in ‘real life’ situations. Football is a fantastic way to unite peers and allow people from all walks of life to go through experiences together, as part of a team.

It really doesn’t take much to unite us — simply putting on team colours is enough to make people feel accepted and part of something bigger.”

Football is also recognised as a great way to provide young people with skills for life. Charity Street League highlights how the discipline needed to play as a team helps to promote confidence, respect and trust.

Mike added: “Football is just a sport to some people, but to others it’s their safe place, a place where they feel valued and accepted — some kids might not feel like this anywhere else.

This isn’t just the case for children and young people — many adults also use football as a place to escape and simply have a laugh with their mates.”


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 13:48