Rovers in RESPECT Debut
Doncaster Rovers will be the first club in the area to be part of the County FA's campaign.
Doncaster Rovers are excited to welcome representatives from Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA on Saturday as part of the FA’s ‘RESPECT’ campaign, which looks at improving the standards of behaviour across all levels of the beautiful game.
Rovers are the first club in the region to be selected for a designated ‘RESPECT’ fixture when they host Gillingham and James Bell, S&HCFA Referee’s Development Administrator, said he was delighted to kick off at the Keepmoat.
“Four months ago we set up a ‘RESPECT’ working group at the County FA because in the past there’s been a lack of leadership from our point of view on ‘RESPECT’. It encompasses staff from referees, safeguarding, administration and the management team at Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA which has a view of improving football for all; improving standards of behaviour, making it more inclusive and enjoyable and a fun environment for people playing the game at grassroots level,” he said.
“One of the ideas we had was to run a ‘RESPECT’ based fixture at each of the five pro clubs (in the region). Doncaster were the first ones that we contacted and this is the first one we’ve actually ran.
“The game against Gillingham will be a big event for us to promote ‘RESPECT’, what it entails, and for Doncaster Rovers to show that they endorse the message of ‘RESPECT’ and fully support what we’re doing as the County FA.”
James was keen to underline just how dramatic the decline had been in the number of football participants across the UK and how the County FA, among others, are trying to arrest the slide. Rovers will also provide the platform to reach a mass audience and deliver vital messages.
“If you look across the county, each season there’s a big decline in the adult male 11 v 11 game. You’re also looking at around 7,000 match officials walking away from the game each year and so, to combat that, the FA set up the ‘RESPECT’ programme to try and counteract the bad things you see in the press; assaults, abusing match officials, an environment which isn’t child-friendly.
“For us, Saturday is massive and we really appreciate that Doncaster have shown in promoting the ‘RESPECT’ campaign and helping us organise the event. From the County FA point of view, it was hard to reach a mass audience so working with Doncaster gives us a chance to promote the campaign to a mass audience – hopefully in excess of 6,000 people – and it gives us the opportunity to show what ‘RESPECT’ is about, demonstrate best practice to a large audience which we wouldn’t necessarily get by hosting a tournament in the middle of the summer.”
Lisa Glaves, S&HCFA Welfare Officer, added that she hoped both professional and amateur players could learn from each other.
“We’ve got youngsters coming from the Doncaster region so it will be good for them to see their favourite players getting involved in the campaign and then they can see that it’s not just Sunday league football but football throughout.
“It makes it more cool if their heroes are doing it rather than their manager or leagues are telling them it’s something they’ve got to do. We’re hoping that everything goes smoothly and there’s no red cards or yellow cards so we can show the youngsters that are here that pro players follow the ‘RESPECT’ campaign.”
Club Doncaster host Show Racism the Red Card educational event
On Wednesday 25th February, Club Doncaster, hosted a Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) at the Keepmoat Stadium to teach young people about the dangers of racism.
The event with Doncaster Rovers FC and Doncaster RLFC was organised in partnership with the Club Doncaster Community Sports and Education Foundation and was sponsored by Doncaster Council.
Pupils from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Kingfisher, Woodfield and Bentley High Street Primary Schools took part in a range of anti-racism activities, a hate crime workshop from South Yorkshire Police, a workshop examining Homophobia delivered by Doncaster Pride and a tour of the Keepmoat Stadium.
In the afternoon the young people were shown a screening of the SRtRC film and were then given the chance to pose questions to a panel including Doncaster Rovers Andy Butler and Doncaster RLFC players Pasqualle Dunn and Mitch Clark.
Following the event, Show Racism the Red Card are asking the young people to create a newspaper style report of the event.
Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card, Ged Grebby, said:
“The educational events with football clubs are one of the highlights of our work. It’s brilliant to be able to continue this season’s programme of events with Doncaster Rovers. The club are long-standing and consistent supporters of the campaign".
“We are hugely grateful to the club, Doncaster Council and DRFC Community Foundation for their support.”
The educational events at football clubs allow young people to experience a firsthand interaction with anti-racism role models in the form of professional footballers and spend time thinking critically about this important issue.
During the 2013-14 season the campaign held 38 events in England, attended by 79 professional footballers and managers and educating 3,230 young people.
Kick it Out's Season of Action
Gillingham game designated to Kick it Out campaign.
Tomorrow’s fixture against Gillingham has been dedicated to celebrating the work of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, as part of its ‘Season of Action’.
Founded in 1993, Kick It Out has altered the landscape of football by educating, raising awareness and campaigning to make the game a more safe, welcoming and comfortable environment free of all forms of discrimination, prejudiced attitudes and abusive behaviour.
The ‘Season of Action’ format – introduced last season to recognise Kick It Out’s 20 year anniversary - has replaced the traditional ‘weeks of action’ which used to fall in October. The season-long drive provides a greater opportunity for Kick It Out to display the breadth of its work across the game.
During tomorrow’s fixture, both sets of players, management staff and supporters alike will embrace the diversity of English football by wearing Kick It Out t-shirts, donning badges and stickers, and distributing promotional materials.
This year’s ‘Season of Action’ has a specific focus on supporting grassroots and community activity with professional football clubs continuing to play a leading role in spreading the message of inclusivity to all of their local stakeholders throughout the season and beyond.
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, said: “We are determined to strengthen our presence at grassroots and community level to help further educate the future players, coaches, supporters and administrators of the game on what Kick It Out represents, and the need to banish all forms of discrimination.
“Many professional football clubs act as the hub for their local community, and set a real example by raising awareness of equality and diversity issues. Nominated ‘Season of Action’ fixtures are the perfect platform for clubs to reinforce their commitment to Kick It Out and its ethos.”
During the ‘Season of Action’, Kick It Out is providing supplementary resources, running a national education competition, undertaking school workshops and facilitating player visits led by its ‘Next 20’ ambassadors from across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League.
To keep up-to-date with the latest ‘Season of Action’ news, you can download the free Kick It Out app via the App Store and Google Play. The app, which was successfully launched in July 2013, also allows users to report discriminatory abuse they see, hear or are on the receiving end of.
Do you want to play a more active role in Kick It Out’s ‘Season of Action’? You can get in touch with the organisation by calling 0207 253 0162, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.