As we prepare to host Non League Day and show our support for the Kick It Out campaign, here’s some more info on how these two great organisations are working together to support the game at grassroots level.
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, will once again be supporting Non League Day on Saturday 7 September as fans across the country are encouraged to support their local team during the weekend of international fixtures.
Non-League Day, a celebration of the semi professional and amateur clubs, was the brainchild of James Doe after he was inspired by a pre season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers.
Since the inception in 2010 it has grown from strength to strength, it now stands as a popular annual event in the football calendar.
Kick It Out is marking its 20 year anniversary with a special ‘season of action’. The support for Non League Day coincides with this, as a host of activities and events will recognise the work of Kick It Out throughout the season.
Grassroots clubs and community groups act as an important vehicle for Kick It Out in promoting diversity and anti discrimination. Clubs such as Stonewall FC and Sporting Bengal are vital in tackling underrepresentation in the professional sphere.
Francis Duku, founder of Our Game, a support service for amateur and semi professional players, and, member of Kick It Out’s Professional Players Guidance Group, is thrilled that the clubs in the lower divisions are getting much deserved recognition.
“Non League Day is an absolutely fantastic idea. This is what the club, staff and the players at those type of clubs deserve, the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is incredible,” said Francis.
The international break represents the chance for football fans to focus on teams that tend to be in the lower realms of the football pyramid and also in turn support grassroots clubs that remain an integral part of the national game.
Non League Day celebrates the traditional values that many supporters hold dear, such as the realistic ticket prices and the accommodating kick off time.
Francis believes the level of support the smaller clubs receive on Non League Day as a standalone is vital for the future.
“The games always have good attendances, which is great for the club, especially in terms of income and recognition as they are fighting to survive.”
For more information about NLD visit www.nonleagueday.co.uk or follow @non_league_day on twitter.