Ryan Atkin, Hope Powell and Martin Sinclair

Equality Event Drives Change

Engagement evening brings people together

Last night we were proud to hold our first Equality Engagement Evening at Crawley Town Football Club showcasing our determination to break down barriers which get in the way of progress.

The aim of the night was to bring like-minded people together to demonstrate the amazing work that is happening already to improve equality standards in football and sport.  

Our key message for the evening was 'Football belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, anyone who wants to participate in it,' we recognise that football shouldn't just be trying to keep up with the pace of societal change; it should be helping lead it.

The event, delivered by our Football Development Officer, Jade Harker and hosted by our Marketing & Communications Officer, Jack Towers, and included presentations from our special guests, Martin Sinclair, Hope Powell, Ryan Atkin, Anwar Uddin and Wasim Ashraf.

Martin Sinclair kicked-off with a heart-warming speech about the effect football has had on his life and his dream come true to walk out in front of 80,000 people in London as a Paralympian. He was then joined on stage for a question and answer session with Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s Manager, Hope Powell, and the first openly gay referee in English professional football, Ryan Atkin. 

The three of them gave an incredible insight into the individual struggles they have had with discrimination, and the one thing that brings them all together, equality; which they have all tirelessly strived towards in their different fields.

Following a short break, we had the pleasure of showing a short video from Eastbourne Borough’s Sergio Torres. The Argentine, although unable to attend, gave us a glimpse of his new documentary film followed by a quick video discussing what equality means to him, and how he was received in this country as a foreign player trying to follow his dream of playing professionally.

Former West Ham and Dagenham & Redbridge footballer Anwar Uddin then gave a talk on Asian representation in football from both a player and fan perspective. He spoke articulately about his role as a Fans for Diversity Campaign Manager for The Football Supporters Association and his work for Kick It Out.

Lastly, Wasim Ashraf, co-founder of Crawley Game Changers, spoke of the fantastic progress their BAME initiative has had encouraging children from all backgrounds and walks of life to attend weekly training sessions.

Our inaugural Equality Engagement Evening further displays that as a County FA we are embracing equality and follows on from having recently been awarded the Foundation Level in the Equality Standards for Sport.

For further information about equality in Sussex football please contact: 

T: 01903 766855
E: Development@SussexFA.com