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Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG)

Football for all

Our Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG) has been set up to engage more individuals from under-represented groups into all roles in football.

The IAG provides ideas and support on our main areas of focus in delivery. It also plays an important role in influencing how we, as the County Football Association, make decisions, with representatives from our Board of Directors also playing a part in the group. We are always looking for new volunteers to join our IAG to continue to build on the progress we have made. 

If you are interested in getting involved, or have ideas on how we can be truly representative of the population we serve, please get in touch.

Get in Touch

By Phone: 01235 544890

By Email:
Liz.Verrall@Berks-BucksFA.com

Meet the Group


The Berks & Bucks FA Inclusion Advisory Group

 

Who We Are

My name is Ahmar Mukhtar (47) from Aylesbury. I studied at University of Essex (BA in Financial & Accounting Management) and I'm a Level 2 coach. I want to achieve further football badges In sha Allah. 

I have Cerebral Palsy which meant I couldn't take part in the game I loved, so at the age of just 16 I setup my own football club called Aylesbury Asians but now is named Elmhurst FC. Our aims were to get ethic minorities into football from the local Aylesbury area because this group was poorly represented during this difficult period. 

We have managed to get the club to the highest level of the Aylesbury District League and compete for the past decade which is a great achievement in itself. We also develop our own youth which is a vital part of our success.  

I have been working closely with MK Don's, Wycombe Wanderers, FAB Academy and recently Watford Development to push players to achieve further success in their football Development. Example is my son, Muhammad, who is at the above clubs 😄.

I hope my experience and knowledge can be a great benefit to this BBFA IAG Panel.

Awaiting IAG Member profile

Name: Andrew Corti

Role in IAG: Member

Years Active in IAG: 6 years

Reason for Joining IAG: To promote LGBT+ inclusion at a local level having been involved in LGBT+ football in other capacities for a number of years.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: Fourteen

Background in Inclusion Professional / Football / Sports: Founder member and first Club Secretary (for 9 years) of London Titans LGBT+ football club. Treasurer of the Gay Football Supporters’ Network for 2 years. Currently Publicity and Communications Officer for London Frontrunners, the largest LGBT+ sports club outside north America.

Reading FC season ticket holder for more years than I care to remember.

Ambitions for IAG over next 2 years: To make a difference in encouraging LGBT+ participation in football across roles and levels.

Awaiting IAG Member profile
Awaiting IAG Member profile
Awaiting IAG Member profile

Director of Inclusion at Berks & Bucks FA, Grace is a fluent French speaker who has used her skills effectively and efficiently in HR recruitment, Customs and Excise, Law Enforcement and numerous volunteering opportunities.

She has been volunteering for several years and most notably at both the Olympics and Paralympics 2012. Enlisted as Team Liaison and Attaché for the French women’s basketball teams. Other events include The Commonwealth Games, Glasgow and Ryder Cup, Gleneagles both held in 2014 plus the two Americas Cup events held in Portsmouth.

Previously Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of Directors for Basketball England, a sport she has been involved in for over 30 years. Focused on developing inclusive opportunities and giving a voice to all, Grace is a keen advocate of ‘Sport for all’ regardless of ability or background. She is a champion of diversity, equality and inclusion.
  
She is a seasoned leader, with strong board experience, which includes engaging with and representing communities and working in the public spotlight. Using her extensive background in mediation and specialism in arbitration and tribunals, Grace has been involved in developing best practices and policies which have been used to form the legal basis of several initiatives in her community. This is always done with drive, commitment and impartiality especially when sitting on disciplinary panels. Likewise Grace has worked closely with Risk, Compliance and Governance Officers in order to maintain the integrity of the cases she regularly works on.

In 2019 FIFA piloted and promoted a safeguarding service at the Women’s World Cup in France (FWWC2019) and was equally committed to a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy. Grace worked alongside Safe Sport International to assist with the provision of such a valuable service. This enabled all players and participants to be able to take part in a major sporting event with a safe environment free from any violence, abuse, and harassment or bullying. 

Grace’s strong interpersonal flair often sees her appreciate working with different people from various backgrounds, creating special bonds and helping those who are new to volunteering make the best of what they are good at. Making connections and friendships and being able to 'give back'.

Grace has a Goddaughter who has secured a USA scholarship as a proficient Goal keeper and a younger niece who is an equally bright footballer.

Going forward, Grace is fully involved in the IAG which is exploring all the amazing ways we can work together to ensure that Berks and Bucks FA delivers the best opportunities from grassroots, volunteers, clubs, officials and actively supporting those who wish to be part of this wonderful game in our communities.

Kulbir has been involved with the Berks & Bucks Football Association (BBFA) since 2016, when he joined the BBFA Inclusion Advisory Group (IAG). As a member of the IAG he has advised on, and contributed to, initiatives that encourage participation in grassroots football from underrepresented groups.

In January 2019 Kulbir joined the Board of the BBFA as a Non-Executive Director for Inclusion, a role which he was keen to take on. One of the first tasks that he embarked upon was to create a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Plan for the organisation to work from. 

In addition to the role of Non-Executive Director for Inclusion, Kulbir is also the Chair of the BBFA Inclusion Advisory Group.

Kulbir is committed to ensuring that everyone who is involved in football at a grass roots, county level, has a great experience, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability or disability, faith or age. 

He has extensive experience of working in both private and public sector organisations, delivering on D&I initiatives and targets. Specific areas of work have included the recruitment and retention of BAME personnel. Designing and delivering diversity and cultural awareness training. Chairing workplace diversity boards to address issues of discrimination and to support staff with career development. Management training of unconscious bias and the negative impact on individuals and teams within an organisation. Collaborating with community organisations to tackle discrimination and hate crime through education and awareness. Coaching and mentoring marginalised young people who lack aspiration, confidence and often self-esteem.

Having worked in the airline industry, retail management and executive coaching in the USA and the UK, Kulbir has spent the last fifteen years working in the public sector with underrepresented, hard to reach communities. In 2018 Kulbir was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in The New Year’s Honours List for this work. He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Community Cohesion and is now a proud member of The Order of The British Empire. Also in 2018, Kulbir was the recipient of a British Community Honours Award presented at The House of Lords. This was also for services to community cohesion and his work on equality, diversity and inclusion in the community. 

As a member of the Board, Kulbir will draw upon his vast experience to ensure that as the County FA, we provide everyone an opportunity to be part of the game. He will support and advise on our inclusion priorities over the coming years. These are underpinned by three principles of change which are:
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.

Awaiting IAG Member profile

Name: Rich Howgill

Role in IAG: Member

Years Active in IAG: 1 Year

Reason for Joining IAG: I have been a football fan for most of my life and for many years I found my sexuality to be in conflict with my love for the game. The sea-change in attitude to LGBT+ participation in football over the past 5-6 years has been remarkable but it is clear there is still a very long way to go for football to be a truly inclusive and diverse sport.

I believe that my passion for change, my insight as a gay football fan and my experience in the commercial world will be of help in continuing to drive progress to the goal of a sport where everyone can participate regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexuality or gender identity.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: Twelve

Background in Inclusion Professional / Football / Sports: Previously worked with the FA, the Gay Football Supporters Network and Reading FC to address the issue of homophobia on the terraces. A former player with London-based LGBT+ football club, Leftfooters FC.

Part of the organising committee of the IGLFA World Cup help in London in 2008. An active member of the LGBT+ supporters club of West Ham United (Pride of Irons).

Ambitions for IAG over next 2 years: To support BBFA in achieving the targeted performance against the Equality standards and to ensure a strong connection between the LGBT+ Community and both BBFA and it's member clubs, both amateur and professional.

Awaiting IAG Member profile

Name: Tameena Hussain

Role in IAG: Member

Years Active in IAG: 1 Year

Reason for Joining IAG: To ensure that inclusion and diversity is at the heart of our decision-making ensuring football is accessible for all and using the power of sport to bring people together.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 6 Years

Background in Inclusion Professional / Football / Sports: I currently work for the England & Wales Cricket Board but my spare time has been spent on facilitation and management of various sports over the years using sports to bridge relationships between communities and local authorities.

I've also been involved heavily in setting up Maidenhead & Bray Ladies CC and managing the girls & ladies teams. I've seen first-hand the problems females face in sports participation so my work has been focussed on making the sport more inclusive irrespective of background.

Ambitions for IAG over next 2 years: To drive/see an increase in representation at coaching/leadership level reflective of all communities.

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