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Good afternoon Chairboys fans, and welcome to today’s dedicated “Kick It Out” fixture which aims to raise awareness of inclusion, equality and discrimination topics, against Port Vale FC.

In today’s WWSET programme notes we would like to make everyone aware of football’s equality and inclusion organisation “Kick It Out” and how this week Wycombe Wanderers and the Sports & Education Trust have joined forces to educate the local community with the aim of tackling all forms of discrimination…

Kick It Out is primarily a campaigning organisation which enables, facilitates and works with the football authorities, professional clubs, players, fans and communities to tackle all forms of discrimination. They have also been pivotal in persuading and supporting the game’s stakeholders to take their equality responsibilities seriously.

The week of our dedicated Kick It Out fixture began on Monday 19th March where WWSET organised a practical workshop at Beechview School in High Wycombe which looked to educate the year 6 pupils about all forms of discrimination based on race, religion and skin colour. The workshop was delivered by ex-Charlton & Aston Villa winger Paul Mortimer who is now Kick It Outs Professional Players Engagement Manager, and whose role includes working with current and former professional footballers to bring them closer to the activities facilitated by Kick It Out, and also educating fans and communities regarding discrimination issues.

The children were also especially excited as Wycombe Wanderers 1st team players Joe Jacobson and Michael Harriman was also in attendance in their role’s as Kick It Out, ambassadors. Whilst there Joe and Michael assisted Paul by giving their thoughts and feelings on equality issues, plus talked about the inclusion and equality issues in football

After an insightful and inspiring workshop led by Paul, the youngsters also had the opportunity to pose questions to Joe and Michael about their lives as professional footballers, as well as the obvious question of… could they meet Akinfenwa?!.

Following the Q&A session prizes were awarded to some of the children who asked the most thought provoking questions and the winners were given Kick It Out headphones.

Lastly, as all the Wycombe Wanderers players do at all community events or sessions, they took time to sign all the books, shirts, bits of paper and anything else the year 6 pupils could get their hands on which ended the event brilliantly.

Chris Milstead – Operations Manager of WWSET had this to say from the event.

 “The Kick It Out organisation has a great relationship with Wycombe Wanderers FC and Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust,  and we’re very proud to work in partnership with them in an effort to educate the local community on discrimination issues and how we can work together to reduce instances of discriminatory behaviour. Paul and the players delivered a fantastic workshop for the children and we as the Sports & Education Trust are very appreciative of their efforts”.

The following day WWSET celebrated the English Football League (EFL) Community Day of Action.

The Community Day of Action is designed to highlight and showcase the impact of the work in towns and cities nationwide by clubs and their charitable arms, with more than one million people now participating in football-led community programmes and activities every season.

On Tuesday afternoon Wycombe Wanderers welcomed a group of local pupils from Ash Hill Primary School to Adams Park to participate in a diversity and inclusion event led by WWSET’s Jay Hamon. Also in attendance to support Jay were two members of the WWFC Ex-players Association Keith Samuels and Vince Faulkner who took the children on a guided tour of the stadium and told tales of the club from days gone by.

Whilst here at the ground the children took part in discussions about the meaning of diversity and peoples acceptance levels with regards to diversity, before ending the session by filming videos about the workshop topic and their experience of their day

Jay Hamon – Premier League Primary Stars manager had this to say.

“We didn’t have anything like this when I was at school. To have a day where local kids can meet and engage with Ex-Players from the club and listen to their experiences is a great way to promote learning around an often sensitive subject. Fingers crossed days like today will help the young people who participated form inclusive views around diversity as they grow up, and reduce levels of anti-social behaviour due to differences in individuals”.

As the charitable arm of the football club, we have thoroughly enjoyed delivering the activities talked about throughout the week. The whole football club recognises that we have a responsibility to benefit our community as much as possible so delivering educational activities to local children ticks that box perfectly. Hopefully by reading this article and seeing the Kick It Out branding around the ground today will also raise awareness levels about discrimination amongst our fans, ensure that High Wycombe continues to be a welcoming place for everybody to spend time!