Earlier this month, Berks & Bucks FA proudly attended Reading Pride 2023, to promote diversity, inclusion, and equality within the game.
Attending events like Reading Pride is important. It is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to inclusivity and diversity and helps send a clear message to underrepresented communities that their voices are heard, their presence is valued, and they are an integral part of the football family.
This year's participation at Reading Pride was particularly meaningful as it marked a partnership between Berks & Bucks FA and Reading in the Community Trust. This collaboration aims to advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusive football sessions and programs, highlighting the importance of creating safe and welcoming spaces for individuals from all backgrounds and identities.
Reading in the Community Trust, in conjunction with the Berks and Bucks FA, has been working diligently to break down barriers in football and create a more inclusive sporting culture. By advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusive sessions, they are sending a powerful message that discrimination has no place in the sport. These sessions not only provide a platform for LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in football but also serve as a sign of acceptance and tolerance for the entire football community.
Callum Salhotra, Community & Inclusion Manager at Berks & Bucks FA, said: "Our presence at events like Reading Pride is a testament to our commitment to creating a football community that is truly inclusive. It's not enough to just talk about inclusivity; we must actively engage with underrepresented communities, listen to their experiences, and work together to make football a sport where everyone feels at home."
We understand that football's impact extends far beyond the pitch and into the hearts and lives of individuals. By actively engaging with communities and supporting initiatives like LGBTQ+ inclusive sessions, we are building bridges that transcend sport, fostering a sense of belonging and unity.
Our participation at Reading Pride is just one example of our ongoing pledge to be more present in local communities.