As part of Kick It Out’s Equality Inspires week, Crystal Palace’s academy played host to a tournament featuring some of its younger members, at the end of a day that aimed to teach them the importance of tackling discrimination.
Before the tournament kicked off, all the participants and their parents attended a workshop held by workers from the charity, discussing topics such as racism, homophobia, sexism, faith, disability, social media and the impact of unacceptable banter in a changing room environment. All workshops were interactive and led by the participants’ engagement.
The parents’ workshops were based on the support and advice they give to their child on their journey, as well as the impact of negative behaviour and the effect it can have on performance. Kick It Out also encouraged everyone to download their new app which will provide a platform for the confidential reporting of discrimination and abuse should players see, hear or be the victim of such actions.
After that, the action kicked off with a number of the club’s academy players aged between nine and 13-years-old enjoying a five-a-side competition that allowed them to show off their skills to the parents in attendance.
The competition was just part of a number of events held over the last week, including the club dedicating their academy programme fixtures to promoting an environment which demonstrates football’s commitment to addressing discrimination in the game.
These activities included match officials wearing Kick It Out branded t-shirts, information leaflets to players and attendees, joint team photos and respect handshakes prior to their games.