By Manisha Tailor
The Lyca Mobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards 2015, co-founded by Sporting Equals, provides a unique opportunity to recognise sporting excellence.
It was an honour to attend the inaugural ceremony with The Football Association who had sponsored the ‘Coach of the Year’ Award.
Taff Rahman, Academy coach at Tottenham, spoke of the importance of stakeholders like The FA to support such events,
“It is of huge importance that stakeholders like The FA support such events. Events like this give Asian and those from different ethnic backgrounds, who are doing really well, a platform of encouragement to pursue a career in sport. It is great to see The FA supporting this.”
Kevin Coleman, who works in Equality at The FA explained how this feeds into their broader spectrum of activities to promote inclusion within the game.
“The FA have sponsored the ‘Coach of the Year’ award. This links to our broader strategy of making football more inclusive. We currently have a COACH bursary programme and mentoring programme all of which link into refereeing, playing or managing. I work on Asians in Football where the focus is to try and get more Asian representation across the board within the game. So this is part of a broader spectrum of activities that raise awareness of inclusion within football.”
With the recent release of The FA’s Anti-Discrimination action plan, this event certainly came at the right time and supports The FA’s present and future work on promoting diversity within football.
“We are here supporting the inaugural British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. It is important that we get involved in the spirit of what these awards are all about. We have a very strong and robust commitment to the diversity agenda. We have just released the updated version of the Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination action plan which details not just work being done by The FA, but the PFA, Premier League, Football League, League Managers Association and campaign groups like Kick It Out as well, so this an extension of that work. We are sponsoring the ‘Coach of the Year’ award as coaching is key and front centre to everything that we do at The FA. We have produced great coaches for years and I think it is right and proper that we get behind that category. It is a good evening and we are proud to be part of it” (Danny Lynch, Communications at The FA).
Chris Ramsey (Queens Park Rangers, manager) spoke of how important such events are to unearth and celebrate unsung heroes. “The awards are a great opportunity for achievements of the ethnically diverse community to honour achievements of those who would not usually be recognised. It also a time where we can celebrate unsung heroes who do so much work behind the scenes to ensure that all communities have access to sporting activities”.
It is transparent that The FA are supporting, promoting and raising awareness of Equality within the game and it is extremely exciting to be part of such a prestigious organisation who really are trying to diversify football.