Gills first team players support the work of Kick it Out as they celebrate their 20th anniversaryToday is our Kick It Out `Match of Action` as Kick It Out celebrates their 20th Anniversary and their Season of Action.
For 20 years, Kick It Out has contributed to making football a safer, more enjoyable and less intimidating place for those from under-represented communities wishing to participate in the game in whatever capacity, at whatever level.
To that end, a season’s worth of events will take place to acknowledge the wealth of groups and individuals supporting this work in their own communities over the past two decades.
As a club we fully back the campaign and continue to support and spread the message that there is no place for discrimination in football.
Captain Adam Barrett said: “Football has made massive strides compared to a lot of places in Europe, it’s getting better but it’s still happening and it needs to be addressed. Not just in the game but society aswell and if we can help in any way that’s what we would like to do.”
Striker Danny Kedwell added: “It’s not just on the pitch or in the ground, it’s around the world really and we need to make sure we address it right and people start listening. It isn’t right and I’m glad that we are here to back it.”
As in previous seasons the club has run a competition for children in Kent to enter and show their support for Kick It Out. Children were invited to enter the competition which required them to design a t-shirt for our subs to wear today which highlighted the message of Kick It Out.
As in previous seasons we received hundreds of entries and both players and the management helped decide on the short list and eventual winners, who will be with us at today’s game to be presented with their winning t-shirt before kick-off.
The winners were:
Year 6 and below = Myles Watson from St Margaret’s CE Junior School
Year 7 to 11 = Karis Miller from Rainham Mark Grammar School.
We would also like to welcome two very special guests who are attending today’s game, Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out and Tom Taylor, Media and Communications Intern at Kick it Out, who will also be going pitch side for our pre-match presentation.
Head of Community Adam Lawrence added: “It is really important for our club to continue to back the Kick It Out campaign and support the message.
“The players have been very keen to get involved and show their support, and that will be evident at this afternoon’s game. This season we have had a huge number of applicants for the T-shirt design competition from primary and secondary schools, and so the judges had a very difficult task to pick just two winners.
“I am delighted to welcome two Kick It Out representatives to our game of action today, who will be on hand to present those two winners with their designed t-shirts.”
Bayo Akinfenwa added: “We are backing it because we are trying to kick racism out of the game. There isn’t a place for it and the Kick it Out campaign has made big strides because you see less of it on the pitch.
“If you cut us we all bleed the same; it’s a great campaign and long may it continue to go from strength to strength.”
For more information on the Kick It Out season of action, events taking place and how you can get involved visit www.kickitout.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.