Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, will help launch Shapla Football Club in Bradford by running a special community event with the aim of increasing Asian participation in football this Thursday (19 February 2015).
The event, hosted in association with West Riding County FA and Bradford City FC, takes place at BEAP Community Partnership Centre in Bradford and will see up to 80 local schoolchildren given the opportunity to take part in football and educational activities.
Shapla Football Club has been set-up to support the local Asian community promote and increase grassroots football in the area. Kick It Out and its ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign, in conjunction with the Football Supporters’ Federation will broker a unique partnership between the club, West Riding County FA and Bradford City FC, to help deliver an inclusive football environment for all in Bradford.
Activities on the day include Kick It Out hosting a special interactive workshop on the organisation’s key messages, as well as a football training session. There will also be the chance for the children to visit Bradford City FC’s Coral Windows Stadium where they will be provided with a tour of the stadium. Children aged between 5-16 can register for the event by emailing Humayun Islam at firstname.lastname@example.org
After the recent launch of the Bangla Bantams, a new Bradford City FC supporters group set up with help from the ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign, Shapla Football Club hopes to bring the Bangladeshi community and other local community groups closer to the League One team.
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, said: “Kick It Out is delighted to be hosting this community day with Shapla Football Club at BEAP Community Centre.
“With our ‘Season of Action’ shining a spotlight on grassroots and community activities, it is important that we raise the profile of Asian participation in football, and events like this will hopefully encourage people to embrace diversity within the game at all levels.
“This promises to be an exciting event for the local young people and we want to see as many young football fans there as possible.”
Daniel McGeachie, West Riding County FA, said: “As a County FA we are hugely supportive of this initiative. A major priority for us is to ensure that grassroots football fairly and accurately reflects the communities it serves.
“It’s encouraging to see such an appetite for football amongst the Bangladeshi community in Bradford. The project at Shapla FC is a great example of best practice which we hope to replicate across the county”
David Dowse, Bradford City Football Club Facilities Manager, said: “Bradford City FC is delighted that this grassroots initiative is continuing to develop the interest of youngsters in our community in playing football.
“Shapla FC attended two Bradford City games earlier in the season after their morning training sessions and we are delighted that they enjoyed both their training and their involvement with their local club.
“This initiative will support the youngsters’ development in the future and we look forward to staying involved as Shapla FC goes from strength to strength
Humayan Islam, co-founder of Shapla Football Club, said: “We want to increase Asian participation in grassroots football. We are very privilege to say we can have our dream come true with the support and guidance of Kick It Out, Football Supporter Federation, West Riding County FA and Bradford City FC.
“Shapla Football Club has been providing free football sessions to Asian youths at the BEAP Community Sports hall. We would not have been able to provide the service without the time dedicated by the volunteers. We are very grateful for the support of the volunteers and the community supporting our club.
“We anticipate the special event to be a great success and further encourage more Asian youths to take part in grassroots football. We want Asian youths to be inspired and see further inclusion and integration within football and the wider community".
The address of BEAP Community Centre where the event will take place:
BEAP Community Centre
31 Cornwall Road
The time of the event:
Thursday 19 February
10:00 - 13:30