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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:

Meet the Group

The Berks & Bucks FA Inclusion Advisory Group


Who We Are

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.

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: Aqeel Akram

Years Active in IAG: I have been a member of the IAG since it was first started, which from my memory, is well over eight years now. I am also on the IAG of Wycombe Thames Valley Police. 

Reason for Joining IAG: I joined the IAG to assist Berks & Bucks FA in bringing about change in policy, procedures, governance, to make football more inclusive, diverse and help to create equality and justice over all aspects of the game. 

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 15+ years

Background in Inclusion Professional/Football/Sports: I worked for Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust for 14 years as their Social Inclusion Manager.

I am also currently Assistant Manager at Hillingdon Borough FC, a non league semi professional football club, who play in the Spartans South Midlands League.I am also currently looking into starting my own Inclusion projects and a football academy whose aim will be to find players from South Asian Communities.

Ambitions for IAG over next two years: To make a difference in the boardrooms, football clubs, society, communities and in where decisions making takes place. To have transparency across all aspects and hold accountable those in boardrooms and decision makers. Three things to strive for football  - Equality - Justice and Accountability. Increase representation of South Asians across all aspects of Football, from the playing fields to boardroom/decision makers.

Name: Callum Salhotra

Years Active in IAG: New member of the IAG following appointment as Community & Inclusion Manager at Berks & Bucks FA.

Reason for Joining IAG: Being part of the IAG will help me shape our Equality, Diversity plans going forward at Berks and Bucks FA. I will work alongside the members to ensure ‘Football is for All’ within our counties.

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 8+ years

Background in Inclusion Professional/Football/Sports: Previous Social Inclusion Manger at Chelsea FC Foundation where I oversaw programmes including Women & Girls, Disability, Walking Football and using football as a tool for social development. Started coaching grassroots football for 12+ years and delivered to a variety of ages, sexes and disabilities.

Ambitions for IAG over next two years: My ambitions for the IAG over the next 2 years would be to deliver on the following:

  • Establishing clear diversity and inclusion goals aligned with the organization's values and strategic objectives.
  • Engaging and empowering members of the advisory group to contribute their unique perspectives and experiences.
  • Conducting regular assessments and audits to identify areas for improvement and measure progress towards inclusion goals.
  • Developing and implementing inclusive policies, practices, and programs that address identified gaps and promote equitable opportunities for all.
  • Providing training and educational resources to increase awareness and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
  • Promoting accountability and transparency by regularly communicating progress, sharing success stories, and addressing challenges openly.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders across the organization to embed diversity and inclusion principles into decision-making processes.
  • Establishing partnerships with external organizations and communities to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts.

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.

Name: Jack Spencer-Jones 

Role in IAG: Member (BBFA Youth Council) 

Years Active in IAG: 6+ months

Reason for joining IAG: In my role as a youth council member I wanted to be able to give a youth perspective on sport and help inclusion be embedded in everything the organisation does.

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

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

Background in Inclusion Professional/Football/Sports: I have played disabled football for 5 years for numerous clubs; Guildford Saints, Red 10 and Brighton & Hove Albion. I also set up University of Chichester disability side and in process of helping set up Ascot United disability side.

Ambitions for IAG over next two years: To support BBFA in getting high Equality & Inclusion standards across all football and help disability football grow and be better for all across the counties going forward.

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.

Lawrence is a highly qualified coach with extensive experience in football coaching  spanning over two decades. He holds a UEFA A licence and an Advanced Youth Award, demonstrating his commitment to professional development. Lawrence's academic background includes a Master's degree in Physical Education and a Postgraduate Certificate in Sports Coaching.

His coaching journey began with six years of teaching in primary and secondary education in West Yorkshire, where he honed his instructional skills. Lawrence spent five years coaching football in Utah, USA, where he played a pivotal role in developing various community programs. Subsequently, he dedicated four seasons to coaching in the academy at Bradford City Football Club, focusing on developing players in the foundation and youth development phases. In 2013, Lawrence joined The FA as a part-time coach mentor in West Riding, supporting grassroots coaches in their personal and professional growth.

By 2015, Lawrence had become a full-time Regional PE & Coaching in Education Coordinator for the South East of England. In this role, he facilitated the development of community coaches affiliated with professional football clubs. He also collaborated with universities and training providers to deliver professional development opportunities for both current and aspiring teachers. In 2020, Lawrence assumed the position of Coach Development Officer, with a primary focus on promoting diversity and inclusion within grassroots football coaching. His responsibilities included diversifying the coaching workforce through personalised and connected learning experiences.

Currently, Lawrence serves as a National Coach Development Lead, overseeing a team of Regional coach development officers across the England. In this capacity, he formulates and executes strategies to meet the educational needs of England Football Learning. Additionally, Lawrence collaborates closely with internal and external stakeholders to diversify the coaching workforce, ensuring that football coaching is more inclusive and representative of society.

Name: Ryan Sheehan

Role in IAG: Member (Grassroots Football)

Years Active in IAG: New Member 

Reason for joining IAG: Whether it was sitting in front of the television watching the FA Cup Final with my dad or being in the stands either at home or across the country cheering on my hometown club, Reading. For as long as I can remember I have had a real passion for football. In 2018 I was honoured to take up my first ever role as a Club Official at Reading City Football Club by becoming their Marketing, Communications & Engagement Manager, as someone who wasn’t technically gifted at football in School the thought of me one day holding a position at a football club always felt it was a pipe dream.

My role as a Club Official at Reading City Football Club has allowed me to combine my passion for football, with my passion for equality. Growing up in an Irish and Roman Catholic family I was always taught to ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ and I soon became the club’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer. 

As a member of the LGBT+ Community, I know the challenges that under-represented groups may face and that not everyone is lucky enough to work in an inclusive environment like me. When I initially joined Reading City Football Club it soon became clear just how much of a family ethos there was within the club which allowed me to feel comfortable enough to tell those I work with that I was gay without any fear of reprisal.

Whilst I’ve always had a positive experience in football I'm mindful that football has a long way to go before it's a safe and welcoming space for everyone and that’s why I decided to join the IAG.  I’m really excited about having the opportunity to support not only the County FA but its Member Clubs from the Football League to Non-League in engaging members of under-represented groups and making football, well and truly a sport for all. 

I hope my experiences of being a supporter who has attended stadiums across the country, turned club official at a grassroots club can be of great benefit to the Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Football Association. 

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 6+ Years 

Background in Inclusion Professional / Football / Sports: Since joining Reading City Football Club as their Marketing, Communications & Engagement in December 2018, I have also acted as the Club’s EDI Officer where I’ve been successful in securing the club’s partnership with HerGameToo as well as their Kick It Out Equality Chartered Club accreditation by developing our Equality Policy.

I also sit on the Committee of Proud Royals which is Reading Football Club’s LGBT+ Supporters Network where I hold the position of Head of Content & Social Media. Away from Football, I am a Diversity Champion at British Transport Police and have previously been the representative for Volunteers across the force on their LGBT+ Network Committee. 

I plan to use my experiences to unlock the potential that football has within every community, especially at grassroots level as communities are strongest when we come together. 

Ambitions for IAG: 

To be a passionate ambassador for the Berks & Bucks FA and attend as many games within the County as time allows to see how other clubs operate in terms of providing an inclusive environment.
Using my experiences at Reading City Football Club to support more Grassroots Club across Berks & Bucks in earning accreditations such as being a Kick It Out Equality Chartered Club.
To Establish partnerships with external organizations and communities to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts.
To support the Berks and Bucks FA in achieving higher Equality & Inclusion standards across all football activities in the county. 
Strive to make football everyone’s game.

Name: Chloe Taylor

Years active in the IAG: Newly joined for the 23/24 season

Reasons for joining the IAG: As the equality, diversity, and inclusion lead at the BBFA YN, being part of the IAG will allow me to continue working towards a more inclusive and safer environment within football which is accessible and welcoming For All

Number of years’ experience in Inclusion: 3 years 

Background in inclusion: 3 years coaching young girls’ football, managing and opening clubs for minorities in sport such as working women and age groups that are underrepresented in football. Mentoring young girls and boys to become coaches/managers from a young age.
Ambitions for IAG over next two years: To apply the knowledge and expertise of all the members of the board to support the BBFA to create and maintain a high inclusive standard of football, minimising and removing all barriers to sport.

I’m part of the IAG because I know the power football has to improve and sometimes even change peoples lives and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to play, coach or watch football regardless of who they are.

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