Join us for our interactive seminar addressing topics including race equality and discrimination in football from grassroots to the professional game.
To look at the actions needed to address race equality and discrimination in football from grassroots to the Professional game beyond ‘Taking in the knee’. The interactive seminar with leading equality practitioners provides an open platform for society and football to examine concrete ways to ensure the challenge against racism in all parts of football culture and practice.
We have a range of guest speakers from across the football world:
Leigh O’Connor - Chief Executive & Senior Safeguarding Lead
Leigh started with Middlesex FA in the year 2000 as a Membership Services Assistant and in April 2017 was appointed to the role of Chief Executive. In his role, Leigh is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Association and delivering the priorities and targets of the County FA Business Plan and The FA’s National Game Strategy
Simone Pound - Head of the Equalities and Diversity, PFA
Simone works hard with her team to ensure players are represented in the fight against racism and inequality within the game and wider society. For almost twenty years, Simone has been a pioneer in football, making sure inclusivity and representation remain a top priority for stakeholders in the game. Here, Simone Pound shares her unique insights as a black woman on the relationship between football and race.
Iffy Onuora – Equalities Officer, PFA
Former Swindon Town manager Iffy Onuora has been appointed as the Premier League's first Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and will start the role in April. The 53-year-old, who made more than 450 appearances as a player, has been equalities officer and regional coach with the PFA since 2012.
Kevin Coleman Yusuf - Head of EDI, Brentford FC
Kevin has strategic experience including delivering ground breaking inclusion projects within the sports sector. Expert level knowledge on Asian, faith and refugee communities with a wide span of influence and many diverse networks at the Football Association and Kick it out. Specialties: Elite sport communication and policy, grassroots sport policy, community engagement, general business management, event management, multi-level stakeholder engagement and communication.
Danny Lynch - Head of Communication, FA Ireland
Danny is a highly skilled and experienced communications professional with over a decade in the football sector. A recent graduate of the UEFA Certificate in Football Management programme, a former senior member of the award winning Football Association communications team and Head of Comms at the Kick It Out campaign.
Doctor Michael Bennett - Director of Player Welfare, Professional Footballers Association
Professional footballer for over 18 years, represent England B team, qualified counsellor, therapist, with Master Degrees in Counselling and Education. Completed a PhD into lived experience of wellbeing and mental health and currently developing play centred approach to mental health care. ‘This event raises the central importance of how we address equality across the game for better mental health and safety’
Steve Smithies - Chief Executive Officer, Cheshire FA
Steve also previously worked as a volunteer with Nantwich Town FC for over 10 years as Club Welfare Officer, Football Development Officer and Board member. Steve has worked closely with Cheshire FA for nearly 20 years across all areas of grassroots football. 6 years at the FA as senior Mentoring Manager and national Inclusion and Diversity Lead.
Steve said, “It is a real privilege and honour to become CEO for Cheshire County FA and I look forward to continuing to support the great work that everyone does to develop and grow grassroots football in a safe and inclusive way.”
Doctor Colin King, (PhD)
Colin was diagnosed with schizophrenia to become a mental health specialist, commissioner and teacher. He currently chair of the MFA FA IAG group, MBE for developing Black and Asian coaches as a UEFA A coach and educator, and FA coaches Hall of Fame. He is a author and activist and co-ordinator of the Martin Shaw King Trust and the Whiteness and Race equality network
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