Valerie Chairs Meeting on Inclusion in Sport

On Friday 16 January 2015, Valerie chaired a roundtable meeting on inclusion in sport at Wolverhampton University’s Walsall Campus between the Khalsa Football Federation (KFF) and representatives of Sport England, the West Midlands County Sports Partnership, BeActive and Sporting Equals.

Valerie said:

“I arranged this roundtable meeting to open dialogue between grass-roots organisations and national groups to see what support can be made available to improve inclusion in sport. Women, young people and people from BAME backgrounds have found they do not have easy access to the teams and tournaments they need to play in to realise their full potential. It is crucial that this is addressed at the level of national funding organisations.”

“I went to KFF’s tournament in Walsall, which attracted large crowds. I was impressed with the difference being made to people’s lives through the efforts of others giving their time for free. I wanted to make sure KFF are properly supported to provide taster sessions and tournaments so I arranged a meeting with the Sports Minister, Helen Grant MP on 27 October 2014 to discuss the support available. The Minister wrote to the Regional Directors of Sport England to let them know about KFF’s work in the community which facilitated the roundtable meeting.”

“The KFF has worked very hard for nearly 30 years to create opportunities for young BAME footballers and the wider community. It has a national network of 60 affiliated clubs and runs five two-day sporting events over the summer holidays across the country. During these events nearly 80 teams and 3,000 people contribute. The KFF is now looking to fund ambitious expansion plans to create further opportunities for young footballers, both male and female, as well as those interested in taking part in other sports. It is also looking to set up a league football team and to secure access to permanent sports pitches.”
“Sport and exercise can make a huge contribution to people’s health, wellbeing and social lives. In Walsall, 50% of adults do not do enough exercise and 30% of adults are obese. Long lasting health problems are best prevented through investment in sports and exercise. KFF is doing great work in ensuring that sporting opportunities are open to everyone.”

“The meeting was positive and a variety of helpful suggestions were put forward. Representatives of Sport England spoke about the #ThisGirlCan campaign to encourage more women and girls to take part in sport. Other suggestions were made about how to ensure access to sports pitches and playing fields.”

More information on the Khalsa Football Federation is available here.