Grassroots Football

Tackling Homophobia in North East Football 2019 Conference

Football is our National Game and everyone should have the opportunity to take part; indeed the FA promote the game ‘FOR ALL’– but how inclusive for the LGBT+ is our game?
Would fans ridicule, harass and target any such players at matches.

Is there a difference in acceptance within large metropolitan areas such as Manchester and London as opposed to in the North-East of England and particularly in the ex-mining areas and the relatively smaller communities which generally define County Durham and surrounding local authorities.

A major difference exists in football when accepting LGBT+ members of society compared between the male and female game – in the latter there is little, if any, issue regarding sexuality or sexual orientation. 

There are and there will be, no doubt, many LGBT+ people who already do or would want to play organised football.  With the former, it is unlikely the persons concerned will admit to being gay or bi in the men’s game. With regard to the latter they may feel unable to access mainstream football in case issues arise around their gender identity or sexuality.

Durham FA want to ensure everyone who wishes to engage in organised football is able to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment – whether as a player, coach, official or referee. The ‘Tackling Homophobia in North East Football’ Conference has been jointly organised through partnership with Durham FA, Durham Pride UK and will be hosted by Sunderland AFC at the Stadium of Light.

Tackling Homophobia in North East Football 2019 Conference

Date: Friday 8th November 2019
Time: 12:15pm - 3:30pm
Venue: Montgomery Suite, Stadium of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU

 The event will be opened by Mel Spedding, President of Durham FA and facilitated by former Sunderland AFC Legend Gary Bennett and Mel Metcalf, founder of Durham Pride and chair of the North East Rainbow Alliance. The conference will include panels of guests including the Chief Constable of Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland and Durham Police and Crime Commissioners and the FA. There will be a number of stalls from local charities such as Sunderland Pride, ARCH Sexual Violence Services, Harbour Domestic Abuse Services, Soldiers Sailors and Airforce Association and many more.

Durham FA Company Secretary John Topping commented “This conference is a significant milestone in addressing a relatively hidden issue within football in the North-East region. This is the beginning of a partnership approach to improving opportunities for the LGBT+ community to take an active part in grassroots football and also to raise awareness for those already participating.”

Mel Metcalf Founder of Durham Pride UK and chair of North East Rainbow Alliance said “this is a real opportunity to highlight the issues faced by so many LGBT+ in North East grassroots football. This innovative conference is bringing together LGBT+ and a whole host of allies not only to support LGBT+ but help send a clear message that Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia will not be tolerated in our community or our national game. Next year we will see our first LGBT+ awareness football tournament to strengthen this partnership approach even further.”

The outcome of the conference will look at how we move forward within our region of seven local authorities bridging from South Tyneside to Stockton on Tees to make local football more inclusive and truly For All.

To book your free place please click the booking link below;

Click Here to Book Your Free Place

 Free parking available at the Stadium of Light