SJFA is actively involved in ongoing conversations with external bodies including the FA Equality and Diversity department.
As part of this, we are engaged in a network with other Asian clubs under the FA umbrella where resources, opportunities, best practices, and common challenges are shared.
Recently, SJFA was appointed as one of the FA CDCs (Community Development Centres) and here is a message from Kevin Coleman, the FA Equality and Diversity Manager.
Message from Kevin Coleman | Equality & Diversity Manager, Football Participation and Development Division, The FA Group:
“Football should be a game For All, being the governing body of the game in England, that should be at the centre of everything we do. As part of this wider role as a body that promotes football to everyone, The FA, like most people in football, have recognised that Asian communities are massively under represented across all areas of the game. In the last census in 2011, Asian communities were by far the largest diverse communities, making up around 8% of the population, or over 4 million people. Asian and especially Muslim communities are also by far the fastest growing population within England, with Muslim communities growing around 5 times faster than most others.
Whilst almost everyone in the game has recognised these facts, The FA is the only one to take action and take some first steps to do something about it. In 2013, all of footballs stakeholders came together to agree a collective 4 year plan to address discrimination and inclusion across the game. Within that plan were four Asian specific targets around participation, development, role models and Talent Identification. The FA’s first Asian inclusion plan, from 2015-2018, looked to address those four targets specifically. One of the key actions to address those targets, especially around participation was setting up Community Development Centre’s, of which Stanmore Jafferys is now one.
Community Development Centres are a very simple concept. They are a weekly fun and affordable coaching session, delivered by an FA Licensed and qualified coach, to predominantly but not exclusively Asian children, both boys and girls. If a club or group or team are delivering this, we want to work with them and support those sessions through capacity building. By this we mean support those clubs develop and grow and professionalise under their own steam
But with use suggestions ways in which they can do this, by signposting opportunities and funding for example, or donating any resources we may have available.
Stanmore Jafferys is an example of when this kind of concept goes really well. You are a highly committed and close community with a fantastic volunteer network as good as I have seen anywhere in the country. You have lots of kids who are keen to play football and lots of parents who have the right mind set around sport, which is crucially important. Sport can be about competition, and winning, and the Premier League but for 99.9% of people it’s about having fun, making friends, keeping fit and healthy and building important life skills. When parents and kids understand this crucial maxim, they will play and enjoy sport for the rest of their lives, at whatever level they were destined to play at.
With over 150 children playing regularly, qualified coaches, events, newsletters and involvement from all of the community, you are experiencing the best that sport can have to offer. We have eight Community Development Centres in East, South and West London, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn we have a mixture of communities involved. Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Nepali, Ugandan and Chinese, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh and covering several generations.
In the future we hope to bring these CDCs and communities together for sport, but for now, the future looks bright.”
Kevin Coleman | Equality & Diversity Manager
Football Participation and Development Division
The FA Group