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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.

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

Name: Daniel Rook

Role in IAG: Member (disability)

Years Active in IAG: 3 years

Reason for joining IAG: In my role as Disability Manager and EDI for Reading FC Community trust I am keen to support the BBFA and IAG in making sure that football in Berkshire is inclusive as it can be. 

I believe that with my experience in disability sport I can help drive change in Berkshire in helping the BBFA develop disability football across the County.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 15

Background in Inclusion Professional / Football / Sports: I have been involved in disability sport for over 12 years holding various positions in my home County of Essex. I have been the disability led for Reading FC Community Trust for 8 years where I have worked across Berkshire increasing the number of opportunities for disabled people to play football. I also work very close with the BBFA on coach education when it comes to disability football. 

Ambitions for IAG over next two years: To support BBFA in getting high Equality & Inclusion standards across all football in Berkshire.

I have been an active member of the Berks & Bucks FA Inclusion Advisory Group for seven years and since it was formed in January 2014. I applied for one of the three positions available to Council Members and after interview I was duly selected. My strong point for selection was the experience I had gained working overseas for over twenty years in multi cultural communities and with considerable success in encouraging and promoting inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity for everyone.

My ambition over the next two years especially in football is to see the elimination of all forms of discrimination by education and more opportunities for BAME communities to be involved in the administration and management of the game. In addition I would also like to see more opportunities for BAME match officials to be promoted to officiate at higher levels in the football pyramid. In my support of this cause I attended BAME Referee Support Group FA Partnership Seminar at Dartford FC just prior to the first lock down last year.

I was elected to Berks & Bucks FA Council in 2004 as a representative for Bracknell, Windsor and surrounding areas and have served continuously since my election. My current position on Council is an Ambassadorial level role, having previously actively served on the Cup, Referees and Youth Football Committees. In addition to my duties on Council I am a registered FA County and FA Supply League Referee Observer (Assessor).

Name: Emmerson Boyce 

Role in IAG: Member

Years Active in IAG:
6 months

Reason for joining IAG: I hope to serve as example for other BAME members in leading the way to being an effective board member in a well established organisation and to help raise awareness of the good work the Berks & Berks FA are doing in our local communities.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion:

Background in Inclusion Professional/Football/Sports: A successful domestic and international playing career (which started in Aylesbury) with over 600 games, eight years in the Premier League and Captaining the Barbados national team. Charity and Community Trust Ambassador/Trustee work.

Ambitions for IAG over next two years:
Using my vast experience from the highest level of the game to make a positive and long-lasting impact in our local grassroots communities.

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.

Name: Jonathan Coles 

Role in IAG: Member and BBFA Staff Liaison 

Years Active in IAG: 6 months

Reason for joining IAG: As a member of the IAG and also as an employee of BBFA I hope to help the link between these groups. The link is vital to ensure Inclusion is at the forefront of our thinking when planning and delivery across the region. 

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion:
10+ years.

Background in Inclusion Professional/Football/Sports: In my current role I lead the Development of Disability Football as an FDO with BBFA, I have held this role since 2016. Since graduating from Leeds Met University in 2006 I have worked in Football Development in several countries including; India, Kenya, South Africa, Czech Republic and the USA. In each of these roles I implemented Inclusive programming in various forms including Blind Football Programmes in Kenya, HIV Education programmes in South Africa and Female Football Development in India.

Ambitions for IAG over next two years: To be part of a pro-active group that is using insight, experience and innovation to drive inclusion as part of our ongoing delivery across Berkshire & Buckinghamshire.

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. 

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.

I have been CEO of Berks & Bucks FA since 2013 and involved in roles in the county FA environment since 2000. 

I also bring experience from a variety of volunteer roles over several sports; ranging from playing and coaching to Club Welfare Officer and Chairperson of a grassroots club.

My ambition is to be realise the potential that football has in every community, to realise the value that sport can bring to individuals and communities and to instrumental in the development of a workforce that is diverse in thought, voice and action both internally but also within our member clubs and leagues. Only then can we ensure that EVERYONE can benefit from football.

As an organisation, we continue to change lives and connect people and strive to reduce the gap between the decision makers and those that are affected by the decisions we make.

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.

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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