This season marks the 25th anniversary of Kick It Out, this weekends game against Fleetwood is our dedicated fixture.
For the last 25 years, the organisation has been at the heart of the drive towards equality, inclusion and cohesion for everyone who plays, watches or works in football. But the high-profile incidents that have marred football this season prove the sport needs an organisation like Kick It Out now more than ever.
Having started as ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ in 1993, Kick It Out has evolved into an organisation which – Premier League, the English Football League, The Professional Footballers’ working alongside its partners The FA, , the League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Federation, among others – fights ALL forms of discrimination in the game we love.
Since its inception, Kick It Out has provided a clear, independent voice within the game to challenge discrimination and exclusion, as well as education for professional players, clubs, fans, grassroots organisations and beyond. The organisation also provides mentoring and guidance to help underrepresented groups participate in football and secure opportunities to develop a career in the game.
Kick It Out has established an equality framework for professional clubs, supporting the development of equality practices and policies, and enabled more effective reporting and investigating of complaints of discriminatory abuse through its pioneering reporting app.
However, despite 25 years of progress, hatred, prejudice, abuse and discrimination are still evident in our society and in football.
In the 2018/19 season and beyond, we want everyone involved in football to continue to campaign for equality and challenge discrimination, while playing a part in shaping a fair and inclusive future for everyone who loves the game.
As part of the Kick It Out ethos, last year we introduced ‘Stanley together’ a project that aims to involve more black, asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) in football. Accrington has a large ethnic population however, this isn’t represented on the Stanley terraces. With the help of the Premier League Fans Fund the trust is able to spread the word about Accrington Stanley!
Since receiving the funding we have been working closely with the Raza Jamia Masjid mosque to provide access to free match day tickets to all Stanley home games. Up take of these tickets have been greatly received with tickets been used almost every home match.
In addition to the tickets, we are also setting up a BAME supporters club at the mosque with the aim to link it with the official supports club. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us set this up and help us educate people about Accrington Stanley and football.
We will be going into two local schools, Springhill and Hyndburn Park, to carry out workshops with the children to raise awareness of the football club and learn more about the Club itself and the opportunities that they can access such as where to go to receive free match day tickets. We hope that by reaching younger BAME, they will over their lifetime become a Red and encourage and teach others who Accrington Stanley are.
Further to this, we are able to extend our junior redz young supports scheme to improve their pre match fan zone and support the upskill of a cohort of volunteers. We hope to get 50 BAME junior members over the next year through our workshops and engagements at the mosque.
The Raza Jamia Masjid mosque open its doors to its community last week as it welcomed Stanley fans from all backgrounds to look around and learn more about the asain community and their culture.
You can report discrimination to Kick It Out via their app, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, via their online reporting form on their website, or via freephone on 0800 169 9414.