Football tournament tackled homophobia

20 February 2014

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Budding Beckhams and talented Torres' under the age of 15 attended a 5-a-side football tournament at Woking Hockey Club on Monday 17 February, in support of a nationwide campaign to tackle homophobia and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in football.

The tournament was run as part of the Football Association's `Football v Homophobia' campaign and teams battled it out in the following categories: Girls Under 10, Boys Under 13, Boys Under 14 and Boys Under 15. Teams from Woking and across the county enjoyed competitive but friendly football, and every young person taking part took home a medal, certificate and a Football v Homophobia t-shirt.

The tournament, which was free to participate in, was run by Woking Borough Council and Woking Town Football Club, following a grant of 300 from Pride Sports (the organisation that runs FvH) to roll out the campaign. Their vision is for those involved in football and the wider society to value the contributions made by all people regardless of their gender and sexuality.

Cllr Graham Cundy, Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Cultural and Community Development, said: "What a fantastic event where the community came together in a fun-filled atmosphere, whilst supporting equality, not only in sport but in the wider community.

"Sport can act as a unifying force and the tournament allowed the young people who attended to meet new people, have fun and put their football skills to the test. I'm delighted that so many young people in the Borough got involved and were supported by the community."

There was also the chance to find out more about Football v Homophobia at workshops, which were delivered by a representative from the FvH campaign and attended by all participants before the football kicked off.

Football v Homophobia is a global month of celebration that takes place across the world in February and provides an opportunity for people to take a stand for equality in football.

If you would like further information, please contact Matthew Glazier, Woking Borough Council's Sports Development Officer on 01483 743804 or email matthew.glazier@woking.gov.uk Alternatively, for campaign information, visit www.footballvhomophobia.com