BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER
In partnership with Swindon Town FC Community Foundation, Wiltshire FA is bringing the community together, promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in football.
Launched in 2019, the Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging equal opportunities in the game, ensuring all our communities are represented in football within Wiltshire.
Oliver Selfe, CEO at Wiltshire FA said, “It has been great working with the IAG, it allows us to work with local partners to ensure we are offering a game for all. Our members provide valuable guidance, introductions and direction to help us engage all our communities.
“After an introduction to the Inman at Swindon Mosque, in July 2019 we were invited to visit. Being welcomed into the Mosque was insightful, it gave us an opportunity to understand different communities and the barriers to participation in football. We were able to talk about the benefits of football and signpost to local sessions.”
Following this visit Swindon Mosque have set up a weekly training session for their congregation and, prior to Covid-19 restrictions, were training at Foundation Park every week.
Jon Holloway, Head of Swindon Town FC Community Foundation said, “Our vision is to create a first-class facility in Swindon that everyone can benefit from. We have been open for just over a year and it has been great to see all the different groups of people enjoying the site.
It is important to us that we continue to engage all our local communities, offering them an excellent provision to come and get involved in the game.
We’ve had a very difficult year, but we are looking forward to inviting everyone back to Foundation Park very soon.”
Following the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England, we can expect the return of grassroots football to be on 29th March 2021.
As football returns, the IAG will continue to develop and recruit members, understanding the benefits of having diverse backgrounds contributing to the development of football opportunities.
Oliver Selfe adds, “Football is a game that unites, and after the year we have had, now is the time for unity.
“The IAG will continue to ensure that voices from all our communities are heard and will encourage the broadest possible range of people to enjoy our wonderful game.”
Bazil Solomon, IAG Chairman concludes, "I believe that diversity and inclusion play a key role in developing local communities, socially and economically. Football brings people of different backgrounds and nationalities together. It can unite us, as one team, where we can support each other."