With the problem of racism and exclusion becoming more of an issue in football, gaining support across the country and inspiring projects like UEFA’s ‘No to Racism’ and the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ campaign, clubs and fans alike are waking up to the extent of the problem and to the need to deal with this effectively.
In a bid to expand the reach of diversity and inclusion support for people across the North West, Onno has developed a programme aimed at football. Kicking off with England’s home of football, Onno eventually aims to deliver this across the UK to support as many football clubs as possible.
Head of development and delivery at Onno, Kellie Noon, has become more involved in football in the last few years, and with a fresh vision she has developed a way to educate people working in this sector on the problems and where they stem from. By examining the roots of racism on the pitch, she has developed a strategy to work with teams to develop personalised action plans to deal with these issues and to support them in the first steps of change.
This half-day training session covers: unconscious bias, specific issues in football, how global cultures can affect interactions, the benefits of inclusion, recognising our privilege and finally, includes time to build an action plan as a team. The session will look at the problem and offer up simple solutions to tackle this.
Manchester United star, Juan Mata, completely supports Onno’s initiative and fully backs the training: “Kellie’s training programme is forward-thinking and what football, and football teams need. Unfortunately, racist episodes are still present in our sport and ideas like hers are a step forward to eradicate them. I fully support her initiative and encourage others to get involved with this. It’s a great opportunity and one we should all be supporting and engaging with”.
Local team Oldham Athletic have already got involved with this and are organising the first of their training sessions for the staff at the club. Managing Director, Natalie Atkinson, has said “I fully support any training that is going to benefit the club and this initiative is very much needed in football. I am excited that we’ll be some of the first to work with Onno to learn and include strategies to be more engaged with our diverse team of players, as well as with our fans“.