Hampshire Equality Standard Award


Football is open and accessible for all

Celebrating inclusion and diversity for an equal, fair and accessible game where everyone can shine. 

Implementing this in all areas from our association and beyond.

The FA and CFA's are here to ensure everyone who is involved in football has a great experience – regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability or disability, faith or age. Both The FA and the County FAs are working to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be part of the game.

We will all work together on our inclusion priorities over the coming years. These are underpinned by three principles of change:

  • ensuring governance and leadership is diverse and modern;
  • removing any obstacles to access and progression in coaching, talent development or personal development pathways; and
  • enshrining equality, diversity and inclusion in our day to day operations.

Insight session scribing

In order to make a difference, The FA is running and supporting leadership programmes for women, BAME and young people and will adhere to the Government’s code for governance in sport. We will also examine pathways and promote inclusion and access for coaches, welfare officers, club officials, league officials, players, coaches and tutors; and we will challenge ourselves with measurable targets that deliver on diversity and inclusion outcomes. We will also work with a variety of stakeholders on topics such as mental health and LGB&T to ensure that people feel safe and included in football.

Meanwhile, there also many programmes across football which support our aims as part of The FA and County FAs wider inclusion programmes which we will continue to deliver. Our disability football programmes are some of the best in the world; we have an Asian football plan called ‘Bringing Opportunities to Communities’; our women’s strategy ‘Gameplan for Growth’ aims to double female participation by 2020; and we continue to work to encourage football across different faiths and communities. You can find out about these and many more on The FA’s website.


Get In Touch

By Phone: 01256 853019
(8:30am - 5:15pm Monday - Friday)

By Email: Chris.Smith@HampshireFA.com

Kick it out


Instilling confidence in reporting discrimination is a key goal of our collective inclusion and anti-discrimination work across the game. This section provides guidance on reporting and highlights the various routes for reporting concerns.

When discriminatory behaviour takes place, those who witness it – or are the victim of it – need to be able to report it quickly, and to the right people. The reporting process needs to be easy and confidential. Plus, those who make reports must be confident that their concerns or experiences will be heard and, where necessary, dealt with promptly and appropriately.

Football's Equality & Inclusion Organisation


As a media partner, Kick It Out will publicise regular news provided by Hampshire FA and additionally the organisation will have a presence at some of Hampshire FA’s key events, including a representative on its IAG.Hampshire FA will also promote Kick It Out’s award-winning reporting app on their own app, newly-developed App along with a series of other joint initiatives encouraging equality and inclusion in all aspects of the game.

Hampshire FA INclusion advisory group (iag)

Setting standards and values to apply throughout football

Hampshire FA is responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout football at every level. Football belongs to, and should be enjoyed by anyone who wants to participate in it.

Following a review of the local Race / Equality Advisory Groups in August 2011, The FA National Game Board communicated an expectation that an Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) should be established in every County FA.

The Hampshire FA IAG assists with guiding Hampshire FA in providing services that focus on engaging all its communities, which embed positive interventions to address any gaps in provision, employ effective processes to deal with complaints and demonstrate diverse representation across its structures that reflects the local football population.

As part of a county wide approach to delivering Equality & Inclusion, the IAG has created a whole business Equality Action Plan.

The Equality Action Plan is an integral part of Hampshire FA’s current strategic plan. The Plan supports the existing work and the targets laid out in the “English Football Inclusion and Anti Discrimination Plan”, the FA’s LGBT Action Plan, FA National Game Strategy and the Hampshire FA County Plan. The Plan’s objective is to:

•To promote inclusion, widen diversity in the game and address discrimination in all its forms.

•Set and measure appropriate targets based on the above principle

•Identify and summarize barriers to participation

•Achieve the FA baselines of: 10% for BAME, Disabled and Female Referees, Coaches, and Players.

•Set specific targets to the appropriate individual, department or delivery partner

•Create a means to evaluate the targets

If you're interested in finding out more about the Hampshire FA Inclusion Advisory Group, please contact Chris Smith, Football Development Manager.
On Saturday 1st December, I was invited to attend the 10th Anniversary Dinner for Sahara UK in Aldershot. It was a spectacular and very colourful evening! I was the guest of honour along with Leo Docherty (MP for Aldershot) David Clifford (Head of Rushmoor Council) and the Ambassador of Nepal . There were lots of speeches and some presentations. I was handed a plaque and an anniversary booklet they had produced for Hampshire FA. They were very grateful for the help that Hampshire FA had given them over the years with special thanks to the Football Development Manager, Chris Smith for his help also.
- James Pearson, Chairman of Hampshire FA at the 10th anniversary of Sahara UK

Full Name: Ben Abberstein

Role on the IAG: Represent AFC Bournemouth and AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust

Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG:
Strategy development and planning
Corporate and marketing communications
Public and community relations

As AFC Bournemouth’s Equality Partnerships Executive, I ensure that equality is embedded within the heart of the club, from the programmes we deliver every day in the community to the way that the club operates. 

Motivation to be part of the IAG: 
To be part of a conversation that generates ideas that result in greater inclusion.

If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? 
Remove the barriers that prevent football from being safe, inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone.

Full Name: Bertie Matthews
Role on the IAG: Over 55 rep.
Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG: 24 years  experience in child protection, 7 as a Team Manager. I am a registered and qualified Social Worker. I have worked in the Public Sector all my working life.I have always been committed to Equalities and Health and Safety in my career and have always been proactive about anti racist and anti discriminatory practice. I am a FA Level 1 qualified Coach and currently completing Level 2. I am a Foundation Stage Coach in grassroots football. I have completed over 200 Parkruns, most of them at Rushmoor park run; sport can learn from this revolutionary approach.
Motivation to be part of the IAG: I believe that successful organisations are those which have mainstreamed Inclusion and Equality into their day to day practice and behaviours and that this can be evidenced at all levels. Child protection and mental health are two sides of the same coin and by promoting an anti racist and anti discriminatory approach in my football coaching and philosophy, I believe I can contribute to current debates within the FA.
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? I would like to see Grassroots football leagues that were free to under 11's to broaden inclusion.

Full Name: Bob Purkiss
Role on the IAG: Sydenhams Wessex league Rep
Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG: Ex Referee/Assessor. Development Officer Wessex league, Member of FA Chairs Anti-Discrimination disciplinary panel & independent member of HFA disciplinary panel. previous Judicial member of Employment Tribunal and Chairman of the legal committee of the Commission for Racial equality. Chairman of the European monitoring center on Racism and Xenophobia.National secretary for Equality TGWU.  
Motivation to be part of the IAG: 40 years of experiencing Discriminatory practices and actions in Football,not recognized or dealt with,effectively, by the authorities and clubs
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? The ability to Name and Shame clubs and individuals who discriminate against people in any shape or form. 

Full Name: Chris Berry

Role on the IAG: Community Stakeholder 

Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG: 
* Been associated with the development of girls and ladies football for three years, coaching at New Milton Town Ladies
* Hampshire FA Coaching Mentor to aid and develop local coaches in the community
* Positive Action Ambassador in which I undertake action that seeks to overcome or minimise disadvantages in employment opportunities for people who share a protected characteristic. Received an award in 2017 for ‘Outstanding contribution to raising awareness in the workplace’. 
* Awarded New Forest Sports Council ‘Making a Difference’ Award in 2018 as recognition of work done for the community in the New Forest.
* In 2016 received the Women’s Community Coach Award (UK & Ireland) from an overseas organisation in recognition of my commitment to promoting women’s football within the community.
* Volunteer for a children’s charity called ‘Over The Wall’ which provides activity camps for children, teenagers and their families, living with serious health challenges. Assisted in the production of an Equality and Diversity Policy and Procedure document. 

Motivation to be part of the IAG: I think it is vital we show that as a County, we work for our community and value their opinions.  I am keen to ensure Hampshire FA are inclusive in their approach to providing career pathways for all people wanting to develop in the game.  As an IAG member it’s great to be involved in the County plan.

If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? Football is more than just running around in shorts. It unites people and promotes shared values. I would want to see a strong relationship grow between the Association and the community as it is these people who are the ones that volunteer their time being a club administrator, coaching kids, refereeing on cold weekend mornings and they have a right to have a say about how football should be run.

Full Name: Glenn Brailey

Role on the IAG: I am the Disability Football Development Officer for the Hampshire FA. I represent and promote the disability sector within the IAG.

Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG:
I have coached both mainstream and disability football for many years, bringing on-board a coaches perspective and an expertise of the coaching pathways available. My knowledge of disability football includes a spell with Reading FC, working closely with their Disability Officer, as well as being PAN Disability Officer for Basingstoke Town FC. 

I bring my awareness and understanding of disability football, its barriers to player participation/inclusion and methods to overcome them. 

Motivation to be part of the IAG: To illicit change and increase opportunities for participation amongst those who are underrepresented in football and to address the gulf that exists between the different participation groups.

If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? The one aspect of football that I would change is the tolerance level of fans towards people who are different. This is definitely a problem outside the scope of football in the wider world, however when fans bring their bigotry and discriminatory attitudes into a sport that is supposed to be inclusive, it flies against the very nature and purpose of football as a ‘sport for all’ and can make it incredibly difficult for those that are ‘different’ (i.e. not male/white) to participate, or even watch. 


Full Name:Jim Pearson 
Role on the IAG: Deputy Chairman of Hampshire FA
Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG: Hampshire FA Board safeguarding Champion, worked on County Disability Group, qualified referee and experience of Youth club and League administration plus Walking football participant. 
Motivation to be part of the IAG: To make sure that we reach out to everyone irrespective of ability or background who wants to take part in our beautiful game . 
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? I would like to see some tighter limits on overseas players at the top level as I feel personally this is limiting the progress of English players. On the flip side we need to encourage more overseas players and administrators at grass roots level. 


Full Name: Louie Silvani
Role on the IAG: Youth equality champion
Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG: As a member of the Youth Advisory group at Kick It Out, ASPIRE, I have experience in providing support for an organisation around equality and inclusion as well as giving a youth perspective on matters. My university studies at Southampton Solent have also provided me with theoretical and practical knowledge on equality matters which I hope I can bring to the group.
Motivation to be part of the IAG: I have long had an interest in working towards making the game more inclusive for people from all backgrounds - I hope being a member of the IAG can play a positive part in this wider goal and to also be a positive influence on football and inclusion in Hampshire.
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? Representation at the top of the game across the world! 

Full Name: Natalie Washington

Role on the IAG: LGBT Champion

Expertise & Skills that they bring to the IAG: I'm a transgender woman footballer, playing in the Hampshire league.  I'm also a trustee of Trans Pride Brighton & run & volunteer for a few other LGBT related organisations.  I'm an activist for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, having spoken at various conferences and sat on panels on the subject. 

Motivation to be part of the IAG: Football has been incredibly important to me in terms of helping me through difficult periods of mental health, and such issues are sadly commonplace in the LGBTQ+ community. I feel really strongly that sport can have a fantastically positive effect on people's mental health (as well as physical, of course!), yet LGBTQ+ people often feel very excluded. There is a lot of work to do to help LGBTQ+ people feel safe in participating in football, and feeling able to be open about their identities, but the rewards are immense and absolutely worth it.  In addition, football helps us reach people that LGBTQ+ activism can otherwise struggle to reach, so it represents a powerful level for wider societal change.

If you could change one thing in football, what would it be?

The obvious thing is greater representation of LGBTQ+ people in football! The question is how to achieve that. We need to be tougher on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse, and we need clear leadership from footballing role models that the presence of LGBTQ+ people is absolutely normal & expected in football, and to create a culture where we're ready for LGBTQ+ people to be there, and not waiting for them to make themselves known before acting.


Full Name: Natalie Weaving
Role on the IAG: Member
Expertise & Skills that I bring to the IAG:

Business owner

As a time poor individual that juggles work, parenting and life, I look to bring the knowledge that I have from building a business based on flexible working to the world of football. One of the issues is that it football has always been run the way it has always been because it worked. But this will not lend itself to today's society or the new generations coming through. The stats show that. Small changes can have a huge impact and some of these I hope to bring into some of the plans which will enable a more diverse representation of people throughout the game. 
Motivation to be part of the IAG: 
I want to help change the conversation, shape new attitudes and empower people who want to be involved.
If you could change one thing in football, what would it be? The attitudes. Not just from the top down, but from the outside perception. 


Preliminary award achieved

Equality Standard Framework for sport

Hampshire FA achieved the Preliminary Award of the Equality Standard (the Standard) For Sport. The Equality Standard for Sport framework is a guide for sports and community organisations towards achieving equality. It will assist organisations in developing structures and processes, assessing performance and ensuring continuous improvement in equality