Shropshire Junior Football League partner up with SFA Youth Council to deliver Respect Message
Sunday 10th February saw the only league event to Rainbow Laces and Kick It Out campaign take place by the Shropshire Junior Football League promoting the beneﬁts of equality, inclusion, diversity policies and practices in football.
Last year 86 teams entered SJFL Futsal with over 800 participants enjoying the event, making it the best ever event organised by any youth league. Could the league do better this year? YES we can as 95 teams have entered and over 900 players will enjoy this format of football! SJFL provides over 53% of football played in Shropshire (more than all other leagues combined) and the league is recognised by not just Shropshire FA but also regional County Associations and much larger associations for the work done to the continued growth of Futsal played.
SJFL Futsal Kick It Out (Lets kick racism out of football) and Rainbow Laces "Make Sport Everyone's' Game"
The Shropshire Junior Football League and its Respect Partners The Georgia Williams Trust and Shropshire FA Youth Council are passionate about creating an Inclusive Football League that tackles all forms of discrimination, encourages inclusive practices and challenges Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Language and works for positive change.
"We Only Do Positive"
A key element of SJFL Futsal is that it is a RESPECT FOOTBALL FESTIVAL. We want everyone to focus on the core reason we all play, coach and watch football - the love of the game. This is also a good opportunity to get parents involved in the game, teaching them how to adapt their behaviour and help create a more positive environment on the touchline for their children to play and enjoy football.
An integral part of the SJFL Futsal Respect Festival is a day given to 'Kick It Out' Let's kick racism out of football, the FA Campaign to help eradicate racism not just from football but every day life.
We Only Do Positive
Is a new strategic approach by The FA on the Respect campaign to emphasise the role of parents and coaches whilst highlighting the importance of positive behaviours and environments – both on and off the pitch – for young footballers involved in mini-soccer and youth football. Originally launched in the 2008/09 season ( SJFL was THE FIRST County League to achieve FA Respect Accreditation in 2009 then the Silver Award in 2012), the Respect' campaign’s new mantra of ‘We Only Do Positive’ aims to improve behaviour on touchlines across the country by raising awareness of Respect amongst a new generation of parents, coaches, volunteers and players.
On Sunday 10th February The Rainbow Laces and Kick It Out campaign took place by the only Shropshire league promoting the benefits of equality, inclusion, diversity policies and practices in football.
SJFL with the Georgia Williams Trust and SFA Youth Council delivered a number of short presentations with interactive role play with supporters in sharing the message "We Only Do Positive" Over 250 players (many wearing rainbow laces), coaches and supporters also received wrist bands, Kick It Out badges/stickers and T-shirts.
"Thanks to you all for supporting the SJFL Futsal KIO 2019 event at Shrewsbury The Sports Village. A lot of unforeseen prep work was done to organise KIO and Rainbow Laces and the collective deliver of the event was a success - reaching over 250 players, managers and parents/supporters. We can't change all peoples views only to share the benefits of the Respect campaign but feedback already received is good and supportive for the message of KIO and to "Make Sport Everyone's Game".
Mike Hames, Chairman, Shropshire Junior Football League
The following are extracts of the day with photo calls and testimonials supporting Kick It Out and We Only Do Positive:
Members of the SJFL, FA Youth Council and Georgia Williams Trust showing their support to Kick It Out
Teams from Oswestry, SAHA , Up & Comers and Shawbury with supporters and FA Youth Council "We Only Do Positive"
Teams from Wem, Up & Comers and Oswestry with supporters to Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football
"The Shropshire Junior League Futsal KIO event was once more another great success and one which we as the Shropshire FA Youth Council are always keen to engage with in developing our partnership with the league and its partners such as the Georgia Williams Trust and primarily spreading the word on the KIO campaign and our work as a youth council. For us as a youth council this is such a fundamental programme in improving equality within football and is vital to the effective running of the game at all levels and ages of the game applicable to players, coaches and parents alike. This year we also advocated the We Only Do Positive Campaign which we believe to be of equal importance in creating a positive and equal environment For All to be involved with. Special thanks must go to our member Regan for his lead on this and continued establishing link with the league who we would also like to thank for their support, which we look forward to continuing to flourish with for the improvement of the game within Shropshire."
Holly Davies, Chair, Shropshire FA Youth Council
"Grassroots and community sport at every level has so much to offer people of all backgrounds. We know the majority of sports fans want a better, more inclusive game. The RAINBOW LACES campaign "MAKE SPORT EVERYONE'S GAME" is about encouraging people to step up and say they will not stand for abuse. Taking small steps can make a big difference to how welcome lots of individuals in sport feel. We have the power to influence clubs, teams and communities for the better."
Lynnette Williams, The Georgia Williams Trust
STAY PROUD TO BE THE FA CHARTER STANDARD ACCREDITED LEAGUE
The FA programme encourages improvement across grassroots football. Leagues and Clubs who achieve The FA Charter Standard are able to demonstrate they have what it takes provide the best standard of grassroots football. Charter Standard helps leagues/clubs to develop policies and practices making them proud to provide football in a safe environment and where competitive football is fun and open to everyone. We want everyone to focus on the core reason we all play, coach and watch football - the love of the game and SJFL provides these opportunities meaning clubs are better placed to attract and retain players.
Brian Clarke, Kidz in Focus
SJFL KIO flyers (printed by ROCANO) were handed out to over 250 players, managers, supporters and sponsors to raise awareness to Kick It Out Campaign