The Premier League and Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion organisation, have announced a new award to help clubs and their academies to educate staff, players and their guardians about equality.
The Equality Inspires Award will be presented to Premier League clubs who complete a number of Equality Inspires workshops with their Academy sides throughout the relevant age categories. This will also mean the clubs undertaking staff and parent/carer workshops to enhance knowledge around equality in football and beyond.
Clubs will have a two-year timeframe to complete these workshops and gain the award. Any club who undertook workshops throughout 2015/16, can include these as eligibility towards gaining the Equality Inspires Award.
The receipt of the award will be recognised with a personalised wall plaque as well as a signed letter from Lord Herman Ouseley, the chair of Kick It Out.
"The Equality Inspires Award is a great way for the Premier League and Kick It Out to acknowledge the hard work our clubs are undertaking when it comes to education around equality and inclusion, both in the classroom and on the football pitch," Martyn Heather, Head of Education at the Premier League, said.
"We hope that the introduction of this award will encourage our clubs to strive and work even harder in teaching and preparing their young players for the next step in their careers, and it will help them to know that their parents/carers have gone through the same workshops."
Troy Townsend, Education and Development Manager at Kick It Out, is delighted that Kick It Out's strong ties with the Premier League and its clubs is being recognised by these awards.
"With so much good work going on at clubs we felt it was appropriate to introduce this award to showcase the education around equality and inclusion within the Academy Programme," Townsend said.
"Players of a young age are increasingly seen as role models now and it's vital not only to support them but their parents and guardians too, particularly as they play such an important part in their development.’"